Olympic star set to depart Old Loughtonians

Harry Martin is set for a switch to England Hockey Cup holders Beeston

Olympic star Harry Martin looks to have played his last game for Old Loughtonians, with hockey set to take a back seat in favour of his education.

The 19-year-old, who has been with the Chigwell-based club for six years, is set for a move north to Nottingham University where he will study for an economics degree.

The 140-mile commute to Luxborough Lane is likely to prove too much to combine with full-time studying.

And Martin has revealed that, with a heavy heart, he is unlikely to play for Loughts again, with Nottingham-based Beeston set to benefit from his services.

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“I’m going to have a bit of a break from hockey,” Martin confirmed. “I’m going up to uni in Nottingham and it’s too far for me to come back and play for Loughts, so I’m looking at a move to Beeston.

“I’ve been with Old Loughts since I was 13-years-old. I’ve only played under two different coaches and there’s always been a similar playing group, so there haven’t been many changes over the years. I have loved my time there.”

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Martin was a regular in the Great Britain side that narrowly missed out on Olympic glory in front of the home crowd – losing the bronze medal match 3-1 to Australia.

The ardent Arsenal supporter was the youngest member of the Team GB squad by four years and even roomed in the Olympic village with 31-year-old Robert Moore.

And Martin believes his experience within the homely Old Loughts setup for so long helped bridge the gap with his senior international team-mates.

“I signed for Loughts as a kid, so I’ve always been the youngest in the squad by a long way and I think that helped me to integrate with the GB players, where again I was the youngest by some way,” he added.

“You get used to having to develop a slightly older sense of humour and I took a bit of stick as well.

“The village was very enjoyable. It was just an amazing vibe around the place – walking into the dining hall and seeing all the other athletes.

“I enjoyed the perks too like free food. I went out for a meal last week and I wanted to show them my accreditation to pay!

“I was in a room of three with Nick Catlin and Robert Moore, which was a slight issue with it being a small bedroom. The cleaners actually refused to clean it one day, because I had my clothes all over the bed.”

It seems that Martin has already developed a taste for the student living, but whatever he achieves from now on he will always look back with a smile at his London 2012 experience.

“It might take more than a week or two to sink in, but it was the best thing I have done in my life,” he said.

“I’m gutted that we didn’t win a medal, but we’re ranked fourth in the world and we were fourth in the Olympics, so I suppose that was about right.

“I have never experienced anything like it and probably never will again.”

If you’ve been inspired by Harry and Team GB visit www.hockeynation.info for details of hockey taster sessions near you

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