Weston captain Neate leaves club after 16 years to sign for North Somerset
PUBLISHED: 13:00 18 July 2020
Sam Neate says leaving Weston was a “really tough decision”, but one he is “excited” about, after signing for North Somerset ahead of the 2020-21 season.
Neate joined Weston in 2003 from Firebrands in Bristol, through his PE teacher and former Weston player Mike Legg.
“He got me into playing hockey after a mate of mine wanted to give it a go and I just tagged along to support him,” said Neate.
Now 30, Neate leaves Weston after 16 seasons and admits the opportunity to move up the hockey pyramid was just too good to turn down.
“It was a really tough decision, but one that is best for me,” he added.
“I’ve absolutely loved my time at Weston, I had some great times, equally had some awful times too.
“The club was a massive part of my development as a player, I was lucky enough to play with some fantastic older players when I was younger and they were inspirational to me in terms of the kind of player I wanted to be.
“A few of those lads are now playing in the England Masters sides, something which I could never see myself doing, so it shows how much they love the sport. It’s amazing to see.
“But the lure of playing at a higher level was too much for me. I’ve wanted to challenge myself for a while and North Somerset seems the perfect place in order to do so.”
Despite leaving, the former captain – who led Weston for the first time in the 2013-14 season and then again for the second time last campaign – says he is “really excited” about the move.
“I’ve always wanted to see the club do well,” he added.
“The players we’ve had in the club over the last few years and the level they’re now playing at just show where the club should be and I do see it as a failure on my part that we weren’t able to succeed together and climb the leagues.
“I’ve played a ridiculous amount of games for the club and have been playing in the first XI since 2007.
“My biggest regret is not getting Weston back to the heights it once was.
“I’m very much looking forward to it, though. It’ll be a really tough campaign but it’s a challenge I’m certainly up for and I hope injury stays away.
“I’d love to say thank you to all at the club currently for their support last year during my time as captain and I will continue to support the club wherever I can.”
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