Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Is there any trust between clubs, schools and England Hockey?

Many coaches coaching in the Men’s National League are not only cynical but keep the governing body at arm’s length, says leading coach

JON ROYCE continues his forthright series and says that we need to incentivise national league coaches and former players to involve themselves in coaching and selection 

Clubs function by balancing the demands of first team, adult participation teams and junior hockey. With the advent of artificial surfaces and junior sections at clubs with good access to facilities (either their own or hired), junior coaching has, 30 years too late, moved in progressive from Sunday mornings to mid-week evenings. 

The juniors tend to use the pitch between 5pm and 7pm, after which the adult club teams take over. 

England Hockey’s New Way Forward threatens this balance of priorities. There will be an almost inevitable ‘kick back’ if the third team lose their training slot or are forced into an even smaller section of the pitch whilst still paying the same membership fee as a dozen Juniors use the 7pm through 9pm slot. 

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  1. Great stuff Jon – many of the points you raise are so obvious – all based around control. I’ve been saying for so long – how will you develop the best players without innovation and different thinking – you won’t. So many industries now embrace this – but not EH. To illustrate we were recently criticised because our junior coaches had not logged into the EH coaching portal in the last 2 years – with 2 current national league coaches an FIH L3 coach and EH L4 coach – you are not going to get too many logins…


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