July 18, 2017
The England management team of Ben Pitchley and Gary Apsley have confirmed the next stage in the extension of their England National Team Programme with the introduction of additional development placements for players who are considered to be on the fringe of squad selection.
This is another bold move for the EIHA’s flagship programme and Pitchley and Apsley are keen to see this new idea flourish along the same lines of recently introduced initiatives like the Power of Ten and Mighty Mites which have both proven so successful with players and coaches alike.
In just over fifteen months, the England programme has been completely transformed and now has a new lease of life which has inspired collaboration and joined-up thinking in an unprecedented way. The current programme consists of teams at u13, u114 and u15, an u14 girls team and an u19 team. So far there is a very visible link between the three teams at U13, U14 and U15 which was one of the key deliverables that Pitchley and Apsley wanted for the new-look programme.
It is on that linking-up of teams that this latest element is intended to exploit by opening-up places to fringe players who now have an opportunity to take part in the expanded ENTP Selection and Development camps.
Pitchley explains: “It is well known that players develop at different rates, some players pick-up skills easier than others, some players are naturally talented while others have to work hard to reach their top level. Last year we looked closely at the building of players rather than the building of a team.
“Our primary aim was to create a group of players that would compete and be contenders for places on the Great Britain U16 team. It was a significant shift in direction for England and I believe we found a new approach that actually works for us and so its only right that we push that boundary a bit further if we can.”
It was not just at England camps that the ENTP pair were working-out new models for the EIHA’s Elite Player programme. In establishing new programmes like the Power of Ten and Mighty Mites, they were able to try the new model in different scenarios and with different levels of participation. After a number of different approaches it became clear that the 22/23 player approach seemed to provide the best fit in terms of participant numbers, utilisation of ice time, revenue and cost alignment all with the right level of access to a programme that provides a coach:athlete ratio of less than 1:6
Now, with all of the testing and rationalising complete the next generation of England ice hockey player will be pushed and developed even further and with greater emphasis on skill development and performance improvement.
The first opportunities for players is being announced today and there are opportunities being offered to players at U13, U14 and U15. Using the same prospect player scouting and identification system that is used by Team GB, the England selectors have compiled a list of prospect players who are now invited to the England Selection and Development Camp which will take place at Deeside over the weekend of 18th to 21st August 2017.
England U13 Invites
England U14 Invites
England U15 Invites
The England programme is using the ENTP TeamApp as the primary communication tool and parents and players are advised to become familiar with the App in either the mobile or web format (or both if you wish).
Ben Pitchley said: “We are using TeamApp and I want all of our parents and their players to embrace TeamApp because we know it works for us. We will not be sending out emails or texts. We are using the app. We are expecting to build on the platform we set-up last year.”
The first job for players/parents is to acknowledge their invitation either by accepting or declining the invite. This is done using the RSVP option on the EVENT here: https://eiha.teamapp.com/events/3197051
If you are new to TeamApp then it is certainly a good idea to access the App via its web interface. Sign-up here: http://eiha.teamapp.com/
Any of the newly invited players who need help can email EnglandGM@eiha.co.uk