May 3, 2017

England Head Coach, Ben Pitchley has confirmed the appointment of the Coaching and Management Team for the England Under 19 team for 2017.

England IHAReturning as Head Coach will be Ryan Aldridge who will be once again supported by his OHA colleague Paul Kelsall who us returning as Team Manager.

Pitchley was delighted with the re-appointment and said: “Last time out the England U19’s put-up a great performance against Scotland and the game itself was a great event to kick-off the 2016 Conference Weekend. We had a winning formula with the Staff back in ’16 and I was very keen to see the boys continue.

“Unfortunately Mitch Stead ruled himself out of a return to the 19’s which was a huge loss to the programme and I would like to record our grateful thanks to Mitch for all his hard work and dedication to the programme. His contribution will be missed.”

There has been a lot of debate within the National Team Programme surrounding the Under 19 team and with the England programme going through a complete review in light of the changes being proposed by Ice Hockey UK the ENTP leadership team of Pitchley and Gary Apsley have had to re-invent the Under 19’s which has taken some time to resolve.

But now though Programme Director Geoff Hemmerman is happy with the plan and Pitchley needed to find the additional team staff which he announces today. Joining the Coaching team is Ian Pound who will be working alongside Aldridge and Kelsall and the long list of players has already been pulled together.

Pitchley added: “Pounder was our first choice for the 19’s and when Gary spoke to him about getting involved he took no time to decide. It’s fantastic to have a coach with Pounder’s pedigree and experience to come in to our programme and I am sure that we have a really strong leadership team in place for our flagship team.”

Ian Pound has been around the UK circuit for many years as a player and a Coach. His most recent role being with Coventry in the NIHL so he has plenty of current experience and knowledge to bring in to National Team Programme.

The annual England v Scotland Under 19 game is one of the highlights of the EIHA’s Conference Tournament weekend and there will be plenty of talking-up of the chances for both teams as we count-down the days to the 2017 encounter.

The England team plan is being put in to place with the first training event and challenge games taking place in Swindon on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th May at Swindon.

The game itself takes place at Ice Sheffield on Friday 26th May 2017, face-off 8pm. More details on team selection will be released in due course.