Player Pathway FAQs

1. Why is the pathway being updated?

Following the Single System Review in 2013 a number of areas were highlighted that needed revision. This, combined with a better understanding of talent development has led to some evolution. Some of the key things that the updates aim to improve are: more openness and flexibility for players, recognising that players develop at different stages and ages, making sure that the ‘right’ player is in the ‘right’ environment for the majority of their contact time, a principle of frequent, high-quality contact time to support player development.

2. What are the updates to the pathway based on?

The updates to the pathway are based on (1) The 2013 Single System Review, (2) consensus of scientific research (specifically relating to learning and team sports), (3) a Regional and County working group who formed initial ideas and (4) consultation with Regions and Counties.

3. What if my child is too old for Player Pathway activity?

If your child is too old for pathway activity but has aspirations to develop further, we would strongly encourage players to seek out good club environments that have a good record of stretching and developing young players. Club hockey is critical to England Hockey’s development of players. For more information on club hockey please visit the play section of our website here.

4. What is my child’s route to playing junior international hockey as an under-21? 

There are two main routes. Firstly, the under-18 and under-21 Head Coaches speak regularly about players that are developing. During and after the under-18 programme there are opportunities to be exposed to, and transition into the under-21 / Development Programme.

Secondly, every year, there is an opportunity to be put forward to under-21 assessment if you play and train at one of the National League clubs. Every year (autumn) National League clubs are invited to nominate players who may be suitable for the under-21 and Development Programme. Following an assessment, players are selected for further talent confirmation or continued involvement in the programme. Historically, we have selected players every year, some of whom have gone on to play under-21 and senior international hockey. If you look at the player profiles on our Talent Development page, you will see the success of some players, who may not have had the most traditional route through the pathway.

5. As a NAGS player what opportunity is there for me?

As a NAGS player England Hockey provide a full competition and training programme which aims to support the development of world-leading hockey players. NAGS players are exposed to some of the best coaches in the country and the toughest European competition to support their development. NAGS players will also participate in Performance Centre activity in providing frequent, high-quality contact time.

6. What is happening with NAGS Academy?

NAGS Academy is stopping and will not carry on (as of July 2016). NAGS Academy has been a fantastic addition to the pathway and has been received exceptionally well by players and parents. However, rather than continue NAGS Academy as a ‘bolt on’ to the pathway, we want to ensure that this activity is fully integrated into the pathway. Therefore, Performance Centres will take on the role of NAGS Academy providing an increase in contact time over an extended period of time (with a small proportion of this being mid-week).

7. My child gets a better level of coaching in school/club hockey than in Development /Academy Centres. What should they do?

We are continually striving to develop the quality of coaching across all environments. If you feel that your child is getting a better quality of coaching in their school/club then you should speak to your local county about what flexibility there is.

8. What is happening to HiPAC?

HiPAC will not run after the 2016 event. It is not being continued, as it is not felt to be an important part of the pathway. It is expensive to run (for players and England Hockey) and reinforces the idea that there must be an opportunity at the end of a development phase. We believe in long-term (not annual) development. (Those players who reached NAGS through U15 HiPAC should attend Futures Cup in 2017 and future years).

9. Why is Futures Cup being moved to August in 2017?

Futures Cup has been moved to August to support the NAGS programme which will now be able to run for an extended period of time from September to July instead of February to July. Running the tournament out of the school year will also lessen the pressure of balancing hockey with academic work for our players.

10. Why are teams from Scotland and Wales taking part in Futures Cup?

This enables the best young players in Great Britain (GB) to be seen by GB Hockey at the earliest possible age. At the Olympic Games we are represented by teams from Great Britain and therefore wanted to extend the opportunity to play in a major tournament to the best young players from Scotland and Wales.

11. How much will Player Pathway activity cost?

The cost of Player Pathway activity is set by Counties (for Development and Academy Centres) and Regions (for Performance Centres). The cost of Player Pathway activity will be the same (per hour) as Single System activity. The cost of Player Pathway activity from Futures Cup and beyond is set by England Hockey and players and parents will be informed of this following selection to these tiers.

12. Are age groups reverting to school years?

Age grouping has not changed. Age groups still run from the 1st January - 31st December. The only thing that has changed is Performance Centre players (formerly JRPC) will no longer be labelled by their potential NAGS age group.

13. What are the Performance Centre dates for 2017?




Monday 9 January 17


Monday 16 January 17

Monday 30 January 17


Monday 6 February 17

Monday 13 February 17


Monday 13 February 17

Monday 27 February 17


Monday 13 March 17

Sunday 19 March 17


Sunday 19 March 17

Monday 3 April 17


Monday 10 April 17

Sunday 7 May 17


Sunday 7 May 17

Monday 15 May 17


Monday 29 May 17

Sunday 18 June 17


Sunday 18 June 17

Monday 26 June 17


Sunday 2 July  17

Sunday 2 July 17


Monday 3 July 17

Saturday 8 July 17


Saturday 8 July 17

Sunday 9 July 17


Sunday 9 July 17

22 - 27 August 17 – Futures Cup TBC


22 -27 August 17 - Futures Cup TBC



Black - Training Evening


Black - Training Evening

Red - Training Day


Red - Training Day

Blue - Competition Day


Blue - Competition Day

14. I have more questions. Who should I contact?

- For questions relating to Development or Academy Centres – please use the contacts listed here.

- For questions relating to Performance Centres – contacts will be confirmed in time for the January 2017 launch. In the meantime please contact

- For questions relating to National Age Group delivery – please contact the England Hockey Performance Administrator, Emma Bird (

- For all other enquiries please email