The final piece of the 2017 England National Team Programme has been put in place with the announcement from England Head Coach Ben Pitchley for the selection of the Under 13 team. There was a final squad training session at the Skydome in Coventry last Saturday which was followed by some tough decision making from the U13s coaching staff lead by Mark Saunders.

Making the announcement Pitchley said: “I am very pleased to announce the final team for 2017, England Under 13s, which will be making the trip to Czech Republic for our whole programme development camp on 10th April. It has been a busy few months for the U13s who came late into the 2016/17 programme but I am thrilled to say, we got there in the end.”

The full team is:

EMMA NICHOLS – Chelmsford

KIERAN CHUNG – Sheffield
MAX GIBSON – Invicta

CALLUM FIELD – Sheffield
ELLIS RICCI – Nottingham
ISAAC TSE – Sheffield
SAMUEL LYNE – Chelmsford
HARRY CORKUM – Streatham
LEO MARKEY – Peterborough
JOSH SHAW – Swindon
CAIN RUSSELL – Basingstoke
AIDEN McGURK – Swindon
EVAN NAUTH – Guildford

LUCA TESSADRI (NM) – Chelmsford
BILLY THORPE (D) – Peterborough
BRAYDEN SMITH (F) – Bracknell

legacyThe Under 13 team was re-introduced to the England National Team Programme in October last year and the first job was to appoint the team staff. Leading the team is Head Coach Mark Saunders who is supported by Dave Capps and Alan Blythe with Matt Humphreys taking the Manager role. The players were nominated for selection by the Conference Mentor Coaches and the initial selection event did not identify enough strength for the squad. Pitchley was quick to act and soon identified additional players from within the Conference programme as well as attracting interest from a couple of wild card players who were being recognised for their efforts in their respective leagues.

Pitchley said: “Our first cut was really tough at this age because the standard was so high. The players have all come from the cross-ice programme so the skill level is considerably higher than what we’ve seen previously at this level. This is obviously a good sign and I was keen to see who else was out there who could be brought-in to challenge the first rounders.

“A number of players were recommended by club coaches and they were all given fair consideration. I discussed the prospects with the Conference Mentors who in turn spoke with Club Head Coaches and team coaches. I’d like to think we did our home work and we managed to see everyone in one way or another which is a major achievement in itself.”

The Under 13’s joined the ENTP Development camp in October and again in December. A special final selection event was held in Coventry and Saunders made his recommendations to the Programme Head Coach on Tuesday morning. With the team now selected the Staff can begin to plan for their final development day at ice Sheffield on 16th February before the team flies out to Nymburk on Monday 10th April.

The team will join the England U14 and U15 teams for the first combined trip and Pitchley is expecting new standards to be set both on and off the ice.

He said: “We are putting some big plans in place to try and emulate a World Championship experience for these young players as we prepare them for the next step on the pathway to the Great Britain team. We will be expecting a great deal from the players over the fours days and I hope that we can deliver the best possible preparation for all of our teams going forward. With the changes to our programme under consideration from Ice Hockey UK, there’s never been a better reason for us to get things right.”


England U13, U14 & U15 Trip to Nymburk, Czech Republic
Monday 10th to Thursday 13th April 2017