Increase in colleges nominating for England Colleges national hockey teams
The standards were high at this year’s England Colleges national hockey team trials, with several colleges nominating players for the first time.
Players are considered across AoC Sport member colleges through a two-phased trial process.
The regional trials have taken place for the men’s and women’s teams and the final selection will take place at Reading Hockey Club on Friday 29 November.
The South trials took place in Southampton with more than 60 players in attendance.
Once again the standard was very high and just over half the players were selected to go through to the final trial, joining the North selections.
Men’s head coach Terry Lavery, from Birmingham Metropolitan College, said: “There were nominations from several colleges who have not previously nominated. This has strengthened the process, particularly from those colleges who may not have a hockey team themselves but may now have a player representing their college in international hockey fixtures if selected.”
Across the men’s and women’s trials there were nominations from 32 colleges across the country.
More than 50 players were put forward for the women’s trials and there was a good standard of play throughout.
This year the women’s team will be coached by Hartpury College’s Laura Smith.
Laura is a lecturer in the FE department for Sports Science and has been involved in hockey al her life.
She played for Loughborough University’s 1st team and has previously been head coach at Nottingham Trent University and been on the player pathways at Gloucestershire and Derbyshire county setups.
She said: “I am looking forward to getting stuck in and working closely with a talented group of hockey players and seeing where the season takes us!
“The trials went well, we have had over 60 girls put forward for trials this year and the standard was good. We played a mix of 7/8 a side and 11-a-side games to see the players’ ability to cope in a game situation.
“For the final trials we will be setting up small activities on a rotation to assess more specific areas of the girls’ game before myself and Malcolm Pressly-Smith (assistant coach) make a final selection.”
The squads will be selected to represent England Colleges at a training camp and international fixtures against England, Wales and Scotland junior sides in 2020.