October 18, 2017

Great Britain’s National Development Head Coach Tony Hand MBE has accepted an invitation to attend the England National Team Programme development camps at ice Sheffield on Thursday and Friday 26-27 October 2018.

Hand has been in regular contact with ENTP staff since January and has been able to free up time from his busy schedule so that he can see first hand the work being done by a resurgent England programme.

Hand said: “I have heard that Ben Pitchley and Gary Apsley are doing great work with their programme and I know that some of the GB Staff have already taken a keen interest in what the England programme is currently doing.  I want to see the progress they are making for myself and I am looking forward to seeing how the kids are responding to the challenges of the England programme.”

With the GB camps taking place in Sheffield this week, the ENTP camps taking place a week later should provide Hand with a good opportunity to see comparisons between the two programmes. Although they are not joined up at this time, it’s possible that they may come together in a unified future.

England head coach Ben Pitchley explains: “We have met with the GB leadership team a few times already this year and there has been much said about forging closer working relationships between ENTP and GB. Time is always short and it takes a great deal of effort to get everyone together at the same time. I am delighted that Tony is able to spend some time with us next week and I am looking forward to showing what the current England set up is delivering.”

The two day National Programme event at Ice Sheffield next Thursday and Friday will see almost 250 players attending an intensive high-tempo development camp which has evolved through a number of iterations since the England programme was re-formatted in January 2016.

Pitchley added: “We will be operating with six age groups next week and with more than thirty-five staff in attendance, this will be one of, if not, the biggest national programme events we’ve held. Although it’s a big task I am very confident that Tony Hand will see a very professional and extremely well organised camp.”

Hand was appointed to his current role at Ice Hockey UK in August 2016 and works very closely with Great Britain Under 16s, Under 18s and Under 20s teams. He is responsible for the delivery of goals and objectives for each of those teams and ensuring that the required standards and quality of the GB U16, U18 and U20 programmes are achieved. His role also concerns the talented player pathway where he takes a significant lead on all national team matters and international competition that those teams participate in.

ENTP director Geoff Hemmerman added: “I have known Tony for many years and he is 100% focused on ice hockey. With his many years playing and coaching experience he has seen pretty much everything the game has to offer and coming to our camps in Sheffield next week he will see what the England programme is trying to achieve and deliver with players who will hopefully go on to represent Great Britain in the World Championships. It is certainly an exciting time for the England programme right now.”

The National Programme Development Camps start at 6:30am at Ice Sheffield on Thursday 26th October and run until 7:30pm on Friday 27th October.