Martin Shepherdson (pictured left) is the new chairman of Scottish Hockey and urged members to contact him with ideas, comments and concerns.

The Edinburgh-based administrator takes over from Robin McLaren who has been a board member for eight years.

Shepherdson, a member of Grange Hockey Club, said Robin had helped drive and grow the sport in Scotland during that time.

He said: “We have been through a very difficult period. Obviously, the global pandemic has hit us hard and led to a difficult period, when decisions have had to made quickly, and with no template for decision making.

“I hope that we are through the worst of that period and that I and my fellow directors and board members can start to move forward.”

He added: “We continue to work hard with the Scottish Hockey staff behind the scenes on issues around governance and finance, and of course league and competition structures.

“I look forward to working with all the members and am happy to hear from anyone in the Scottish Hockey family. Please contact me with your ideas, comments and concerns.”

McLaren became interim-chair in December 2019 I when Scott Baird resigned. He planned to stay in post for three months until a new chair was appointed.

He said: “Then COVID-19 arrived, and I decided to remain in position to lead Scottish Hockey through these difficult times and ensure business continuity. It was not the appropriate time for a new chair to parachute into an incredibly challenging position.

“The last nine months have been traumatic for us all and compounded by minimal hockey being played. The impact of COVID-19 to the sport was further impacted by a small number of members who, driven by concerns about governance, caused a disruption to the management of the sport through a number of legal challenges to the directors of Scottish Hockey.

“This caused significant stress to all concerned, reduced the ability of the Board of Directors to openly communicate with members, necessitated the use of lawyers and seriously distracted the Board of Directors and staff from their mission of managing hockey. Hopefully, these concerns, some of which were unfounded, have disappeared, and we can now move on.”