Chromasport United Counties League
Published 25th June 2012
The new joint-manager of ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division club Boston Town is about to begin his first season as a `gaffer`.
But as well as passing on his experience in the dressing room, he will let his feet do the talking on the pitch.
Both Hocking and fellow boss Ian Dunn will register as players for the Poachers for the upcoming 2012/13 season.
And despite his 34 years, the ex-Hull City, Sheffield United and Boston United centre back says he can still cut it on the turf, although he admits the hectic UCL schedule may take its toll on occasions.
“I’d love to play. I still want to play as much as I can,” he told The Standard.
“I’m coming up to 35 and have to be realistic about the amount of matches I’ll play though.
“There are really good teams in this league and a lot of midweek games. “The time will come when I’m not going to be able to do this every game, other lads will also be looking to come in take my place as well.”
Hocking was voted the players’ player of the season in the Peterborough Premier League last season as he captained Pinchbeck United to the league title and Peterborough FA Cup `double`.
Obviously, stepping back up two steps in the footballing ladder will add more pressure.
But Hocking believes that, at whatever level he has played at, the challenges remain the same.
He added: “There’s a big difference in standards - especially fitness wise.
“Teams are more professional in this league and the standard of players is higher.
“But wherever you play, people will always try their best against you.
“No-one ever lies down for you, so there’s no easy league to play in.”
Striker Dunn was Pinchbeck’s player-manager last season, finishing as the club’s top scorer and one goal shy of the division’s `golden boot` award.
He will also continue lacing up his boots.
But after a successful UCL career - he has turned out in the division for Boston, Sleaford Town, Holbeach United, Spalding United, Bourne Town, Yaxley and Deeping Rangers - he will be taking a more marginal role as he concentrates on dug-out duties.
Dunn said: “I hope to keep on, but I won’t play as much as Matt.
“There are probably a few better strikers than me out there now, but I’ve still got plenty to offer if I can get myself fully fit.
“If I’ve got two or three strikers involved, then if I can play a little role with them then that’ll be enough for me.”