THE EH PLAYER PATHWAY
The England Hockey Player Pathway is changing. More information about the changes can be found on the EHB website HERE
DCs & ACs
What is a Development Centre (DC) and an Academy Centre (AC)?
DCs and ACs are local training centres for the U13 to U17 age groups. DCs are open to any hockey player who has played a little hockey - no formal nomination is required. ACs are open to any player who has been nominated by a DC coach.
After playing at club or school, attending a DC is the next step on hockey’s player pathway. A coach or teacher may advise a player to attend DC if and when they think it is appropriate for the player’s development.
After attending a DC, AC is the next step on hockey’s player pathway. A DC coach can nominate a player to attend an assessment for a AC if and when they think it is appropriate for the player’s development. Players who have previously been involved in Regional Performance Centre (PC) activity will also attend ACs.
What happens at DCs and ACs?
Both centres provide regular training sessions where players will receive coaching to develop all aspects of their hockey from appropriately qualified coaches. As well as training, there will be competition between local DCs and, later between ACs. The combination of training and competition allows players to develop in a variety of situations and ensures that they are assessed over the whole programme (at both levels) in more than just the competition environment.
Where and when are the DCs and ACs?
Players will attend whichever DC or AC is closest to where they live (or in the case of boarding pupils, where they attend school). The DC sessions are run between June and September, and the AC will run between September and May, with the competition days falling during March, April and May.
For information about the location of DCs in Derbyshire click here
Who organises the DCs and ACs?
DCs and ACs are run by County Hockey Associations or Hockey Development Groups, who appoint coaches, managers and administrators to organise and run all the activity. The manager/administrator will be the main contact regarding nominations, dates and times of the sessions and the coaches will be responsible for the training and competition.
Is there a cost to attend a DC or AC?
A fee will be charged for attending training sessions and competitions. The amount is determined by the local organisers - all are run on a not-for-profit basis and the fee is used primarily to cover pitch hire and coaching fees.
What is the next step on the U18 Player Pathway?
Following DC training and competition, DC coaches will nominate players to attend Academy Centre (AC) assessment. For more information on ACs, please refer to the text above.
Following AC training and competition, AC coaches may nominate players to attend their local Regional Performance Centre (PC). In the new format (from Jan 2017) PC activity runs throughout the year, from September to July.
What is a Regional Performance Centre?
(The new Performance Centres were launched in January 2017)
A Regional Performance Centre (PC) is a training centre for the U15, U16, U17 and U18 age groups which are open to anyone who has successfully come through assessment from a Academy Centre (AC) or who has previously been involved in National Age Group Squads (NAGS) activity. After attending a AC, a PC is the next step on the U18 Player Pathway.
What happens at a PC?
PCs provide regular training sessions where players will receive high level coaching on all aspects of hockey from JRPC coaches, with additional input from England Hockey’s Centrally Contracted Coaches (CCCs).
Players attend evening training sessions and take part in weekend training and competition, meeting approximately twice a month. There are 17 Performance Centres across the Country, and players will attend the centre closest to them.
As part of the Performance Centre programme, centres will compete against each other. There are two types of Performance Centre competition:
Cluster Competitions are held between four or five Performance Centres at a central location. Each squad plays two matches per competition. There will be three Cluster Competitions per season.
Training Competitions are held between two or three Performance Centres and will usually be held at a current centre location. Squads will take part in training followed by a match or triangular fixture with the other squad/s attending the competition day.
At the end of the Performance Centre programme in July, players may be selected to attend the England Hockey Futures Cup.
The combination of training and competition allows players to develop in a variety of situations and ensures that they are assessed throughout the programme in more than just the competition environment.
Where and when are the PCs?
There are 17 PCs nationwide, the venues are selected in order to provide the best coverage for the largest number of players. Players should attend whichever PC is closest to where they live (or in the case of boarding pupils, where they attend school).
Performance Centre programme runs from September through to July, when players may be selected to attend the England Hockey Futures Cup in August.
Who organises the PCs?
PCs will be run by Regional Hockey Associations, who will appoint coaches and managers/administrators to organise and run all activity. The manager/administrator will be the main contact regarding nominations, dates and times of the sessions and the coaches will be responsible for the training and competition with support from England Hockey Centrally Contracted Coaches (CCCs).
Is there a cost to attend a PC?
A nationally set fee is charged for attending training sessions and competitions.
What is the next step on the U18 Player Pathway?
Players may be selected from Performance Centres to represent one of the cluster squads at Futures Cup (U16 & U18). These cluster squads are called the Mercia Lynx, Pennine Pumas, Saxon Tigers and Wessex Leopards.
From Futures Cup players may then be selected for involvement in the National Age Group Squads (NAGS) (U16 & U18)
Players who do not progress beyond the PC will have been identified as talented players. They should continue to work on their game at club and/or school and through attendance at their local AC with the aim of progressing through to PC activity again the following year.
The combination of training and competition allows players to develop in a variety of situations and ensures that they are assessed in more than just the competition environment.