Plans for Ice Hockey UK’s new Great Britain Under-12s and Under-14s are moving forward at pace, with the next step to be the appointment of staff for the four squads.
The U12s and U14s will be split into north and south – and these elite development squads will begin for the 2017-18 season.
IHUK chairman Richard Grieveson has expressed a desire to see a player pathway created, so the youngsters will be coached in the same way from Under-12s all the way up to the Men’s squad.
Mark Beggs, Ice Hockey UK’s national talent identification officer, said: “One of the main things is that we want the program to have a very strong foundation to build on.
“As Richard Grieveson has said, we want a consistent way of playing, a consistent ethos and a link all the way from the Under-12s to the Men’s program.
“By coming through the 12s, 14s and 16s, we know they will be ready physically and mentally for IIHF tournaments.”
Both the Under-12s and Under-14s sides will be supported by a full coaching and management staff, and IHUK plan to make use of the existing quality coaches in the England and Scotland set-up particularly.
National development head coach, Tony Hand, said: “There are already some great coaches in the EIHA and SIHA, coaching England and Scotland for example.
“You have coaches in the Conference programme and those doing a great job at club level.
“We have so many good coaches within the junior system and we want to make use of them.
“From a coach’s point of view, it is an exciting time to be part of the Great Britain program.”
Beggs added: “We want to build the foundations now. We want to make an impact in five, six, seven, eight years’ time.
“If we can get these kids off to a really strong start on and off the ice, it means there are fewer opportunities for mistakes further down the line.
“We can’t have mistakes when they get to 18 and with this program, we can now deliver a really, really strong process.”
Coaches, managers and team staff can declare an express an interest for the U12s and U14s positions ahead of the closing date of 10th October 2016.
CVs should be emailed to [email protected] ahead of the 10th October closing date.