August 18, 2017

The EIHA’s England National Team Programme Development and Selection Camp for 2017 gets underway today at Deeside Leisure Centre with many of the 138 players and their parents descending on North Wales for the first time.

Head Coach Ben Pitchley and General Manager Gary Apsley have been working around the clock for the last few days trying to get everything in place in advance of the Welcome Meeting which starts at 7:30pm this evening.

Apsley said: “It’s been a crazy week for me and Pitch as we have had some last minute changes to sort out with one or two curve balls being thrown at us by suppliers and staff.

“But we both work with change in our day jobs so we both know these things happen and we’re confident that these set-backs will not affect the overall experiences our prospect players will be going through this weekend.”

England IHAThe event starts with the meet and greet session in the Sports Hall at Deeside Lesure Centre this evening and then the hard work will start at 7am Saturday morning, concluding mid-afternoon on Monday.

Pitchley said. “We have designed a physically and mentally demanding programme over three days and players can expect to be pushed beyond their usual levels of performance. We are looking to build character in our prospects and we already know that some of these boys and girls are going to struggle. But that’s ok, because they will all learn something new and that will help greatly with their development.”

The England Programme rolls in to Deeside for the first time and moves away from ice Sheffield due to scheduling issues. The ENTP team has moved toward a weekend programme to help with parents’ work commitments and this has come at a cost, but Programme Director Geoff Hemmerman thinks the effort and cost is worth it.

He said: “We have spent a large sum securing the facility at a time that is more suited to parents. We are taking the ice from 7am to 7pm and are making use of the other fabulous facilities in Deeside too. I am looking forward to seeing how our camp unfolds in North Wales.”

The Coaching Team will be welcoming players and parents at the Welcome Meeting tonight and with three England teams in the making all on the same camp together the programme leadership team are breaking new ground once again. With U13, U14 and U15 players all working together in the same venue there will be a huge level of excitement and anticipation which all should make for a great event.