Big Len spills the beans on Mr Ward

As the Ulster Hockey season gets into full swing, BHC talks to Bann first eleven skipper about the latest goings on down the Lurgan Road with the Havelock aces…


Big Len, how’s the toe injury keeping, have you ever broke a nail like that before?!

The toe injury is slowly getting better!! Thanks to Doc McCandless I will hopefully play again. I’d only had my feet recently tidied up too. I hate missing training & games so I hope I’m back in action ASAP!!


This is your third season first XI captain, how proud were you of the lads after last seasons historic IHL victory, and can the team replicate their success this season?

Actually it’s my 4th season as skipper. It was an extremely proud moment for me and all the lads (esp Wardy as he cried like a baby). The guys put in so much hard work, time, and effort and to finally lift a big trophy was brilliant. I have been at Bann nine years and opportunities like these don’t come often. It really was a massive achievement for the club, as it has been well overdue. Bann can definitely only improve on this, we have generally a very young squad and with a couple transfers added to the squad this summer we will hopefully be back in the mix come April / May time.


It’s well known that Dane Ward fancies himself as a bit of a ladies man. Is there any truth in this fact or is the wee fella just a hanger on with the lads on a night out?

Unfortunately I have to give credit when it’s due and no lady is safe when Wardy is on the pull, which is basically every second of everyday!! Wardy must definitely be good with the words cause when he takes his clothes off it isn’t a pretty sight!! I will just leave it at that!!


EHL is on the horizon, how do you see the two games panning out against the French and the Germans?

Yes it certainly is, less than four weeks. Everyone is extremely excited and can’t wait to get to Belgium. Obviously the French game is a massive game. It’s the game we will be targeting to get something from. We will be up against it but if everyone turns up with their A game, I’ve no doubt we can put Bann on the map. As for the Germans, we will just go out, enjoy every minute of it, give it our best shot and hopefully gain from the experience. Both teams have numerous internationals but we can’t wait to introduce ourselves to them!!


Our Hugo, the Doc and Jim Magill have all been vying for the “ No.1 Bann Fan award” in recent years, but who takes the title for you?!

That certainly is a difficult call. I wouldn’t like to say. I suppose I have to be bias and go with my dad but then again the Doc has been good to me with my toe injury. To be fair Jim Magill is Mr Bann & the work he has done for the club over the years, he must be the main contender!!


The first team have had a 100% record this season, what is the main trophy objective for the season? (Bar the Kirk Cup semi!)

Realistically I would love the Ulster League & Irish Senior Cup. It’s early doors yet and over the next 6 weeks could tell a lot with Irish senior Cup and IHL. We will keep our heads down, work hard in all competitions and see what happens.


Appy has been training hard this season and has been a good training partner for you, are you confident you can keep your place in the team for the EHL??!!!

I certainly hope so. I must say I have been really impressed, as has all the firsts and coaches with Appys application to training this year so far. I have to be honest and would say Appy has been better than me in training during pre season. It has really helped having another goalkeeper down at training and competition for places can only be healthy for the coaching staff. Appy is a talented young goalkeeper and I have no doubt will be 1st XI keeper for Bann in the not too distant future but hopefully not too soon!!!