Player Pathway FAQs

player pathway
Below you can find the answers to some FAQs related to the Player Pathway.

1. Why has the pathway been 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: 1) more openness and flexibility for players; 2) recognising that players develop at different stages and ages; 3) making sure the right player is in the right environment for the majority of their contact time; 4) implementing 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 Player Pathway are based on: 1) the 2013 Single System Review; 2) a consensus of scientific research, specifically relating to learning and team sports; 3) a regional and county working group who formed initial ideas; 4) consultation with regions and counties.

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

If your child is too old 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 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 U21?

There are two main routes. Firstly, the U18 and U21 head coaches speak regularly about players that are developing. During and after the U18 programme there are opportunities to be exposed to and transition into the U21/Development Programme.

Secondly every year there is an opportunity to be put forward to an U21 assessment if you play and train at one of the National League clubs. Every autumn the National League clubs are invited to nominate players who may be suitable for the U21 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 U21 and senior international hockey. If you look at the player profiles on our Talent Development page by clicking here, 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 are the opportunities 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. My child gets a better level of coaching in school/club hockey than in Development/Academy Cenres. 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 country about what flexibility there is.

7. Why has Futures Cup moved to August?

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-July instead of February-July. Running the tournament out of the school year will also lessen the pressure of balancing hockey with academic work for our players.

8. Why are teams from Scotland and Wales taking part in Futures Cup?
This enables the best young players in Great Britain 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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 please use the contacts listed here
  • For questions relating to National Age Group delivery please contact the England Hockey Performance administrator Jack Sexton by emailing jack.sexton@englandhockey.co.uk
  • For all other enquiries please email player.pathway@englandhockey.co.uk