Saturday, May 18, 2024

Hockey clubs encouraging juniors to Talent Centres is ‘fundamental failure in the model’

England Hockey has said that players do not need to move immediately to Talent Centres (TC) after fears that parents were already taking juniors out of clubs to be part of the first cohort under the new framework strategy.

It follows reports that some clubs across England who are working towards Talent Centre accreditation are seeing junior groups overrun with children.

Ed Barney, England Hockey’s performance director, said: “If we have player movement with excessive travel at Talent Centres, this has gone wrong and if clubs that are TCs are encouraging or accepting [players] that is a fundamental failure in the model.”

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  1. Really sorry but the is explanation that “we have offered advice” and “TCs should not encourage or accept players” are simply naïve statements. Have you spoken to parents of hockey playing kids? Come on EH get on the ground and understand what happens week in week out on pitches at clubs up and down the country. The policy is flawed.

  2. If EH are admitting it is fundamental failure in the model what are they going to do about it?

    As a small club we have lost our u16 boys due to a mix of the local talent centre and EHs botched insistence on triangular fixtures which has given our teams longer journeys for less hockey.

    There needs to be a proper evaluation of the impact of Talent Centres and junior fixtures immediately with significant and serious changes made to rescue junior hockey in this country from the oncoming disaster engulfing it.

    My fear is that waiting until next season will likely be too late for many smaller clubs.

  3. We set in a regional juniors meeting with Ed Barney many months ago and as one, all 8 counties present warned him that this would happen.
    It fell on deaf ears and was met with a shrug…
    Now look what’s happening…

  4. A major problem is accrediting a small number of clubs first. What’s a parent going to say to their young player….”oh just hang on for a few years till your club is accredited”

  5. I can remember actively discouraging a very talented girl from joining our club, which at the time had a strong team at her age-group. I was concerned that if young players all ended up playing for the same club, we would have no-one to play against – exactly what appears to be happening now.


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