Player Pathway Structure and Performance Centres
The England Hockey Player Pathway, of which Performance Centres are an integral part, provides an environment that helps all junior players realise their potential, whether that means they are the best club player they can be, seek a lifelong commitment to the game through coaching or volunteering or perhaps go on to represent England or Great Britain at junior or senior level.
Information on the Performance Centre Structure can be found on the England Hockey website by clicking here.
The England Hockey Player Pathway starts with players aged between 12 and 16 being nominated by their school or club to attend Development Centres (DC).
Information on Development Centres can be found on the England Hockey website by clicking here.
Players attend a series of Development Centre sessions and then attend Academy Centre assessment / selection at which time a small squad of the best players in each age group are selected to attend the Academy Centre for that season. These selected players will then attend regular training with a series of tournaments and matches competing against other local Academy Centres.
Information on Academy Centres can be found on the England Hockey website by clicking here.
The Performance Centres are for players between U14 to U17 and sits between the Academy Centres (ACs) and National Age Group Squads (NAGS).
Performance Centres aim to:
- Develop an oversupply of high calibre players for National Age Group Squads
- Provide frequent, exceptionally high quality contact time for a targeted group of players
- Provide appropriate competition to support player development
- Provide high quality education that effectively prepares young players for performance environments
Information on Performance Centres can be found on the England Hockey website by clicking here.
There are 5 Performance Centre Regions across England: North, East, South, West and Midlands and together these Regions look after 16 training centres. Each region delivers the PC programme to a small group of high performing U15 and U17 players at each of their training centres. The selected players are deemed to be the nations over-supply of elite junior players with the aim of competing for places within the National Age Group Squads.
The Performance Centres are located as follows:
- North Performance Centres (inc. Durham, Fylde, York and Manchester.)
- East Performance Centres (inc. Bury and Northwood.)
- South Performance Centres (inc. Guildford, Reading, Southampton, Tonbridge and Weybridge.)
- West Performance Centres (inc. Bristol and Taunton.)
- Midlands Performance Centres (inc. East Midlands, South Midlands and West Midlands.)
The East Midlands, South Midlands and West Midlands PC’s are overseen by the Midlands Junior Performance Group (MJPG). MJPG have appointed a Midlands Performance Centres Committee to be responsible for the delivery of the programme across the three Midlands training centres. Performance Centres are lead by Performance Centre Head Coaches and are supported by a team of coaching staff, Team Managers and Administrators.
As part of the Performance Centre programme, centres will compete against each other. There are two types of Performance Centre competition:
- Training Competitions are held between two or three Performance Centres and will usually be held at a current centre location. Squads will take part in training followed by a match or triangular fixture with the other squad/s attending the competition day.
- Cluster Competitions are held between four Performance Centres at a central location. Each squad plays two matches per competition.
Performance Centre Training competitions and Cluster competitions will be run at several locations across the country, and the PCs attending each competition are split and grouped to mirror the four Futures Cup squads. The training centres are linked to a training and cluster competition, and ultimately a Futures Cup squad, as follows:
- Mercia Lynx – Reading, East Midlands, South Midlands, West Midlands
- Pennine Pumas – Durham, Fylde, Manchester and York
- Saxon Tigers – Bury, Northwood, Guildford and Tonbridge
- Wessex Leopards – Bristol, Weybridge, Southampton and Taunton
Midlands Performance Centres Committee changed the names of their training centres at the start of the 2017-18 season.
- East Midlands PC was formerly Nottingham PC
- South Midlands PC remans unchanged
- West Midlands PC was formerly Birmingham PC
Performance Centre Player Selection and Transition
England Hockey’s principles of ‘right player, right environment’ means that movement of players can go from AC to PC, as well as PC to AC. Any movement of players will be done for the benefit of the player and if PC activities are deemed to be too challenging for a player then they may be asked to re-join the AC programme for later consideration and re-assessment for PC. This movement in either direction should be seen as a positive move as putting a player in the wrong high performance environment for their level of hockey can have a long-term detrimental effect on players. This is why assessment and transition is an on-going process throughout the season. Any player transitioned from PC to AC should remain positive and committed to playing hockey at every age-group. Commitment to AC after transition could be essential for any further opportunities for selection into PC at a later date.
Selected PC players should make every effort to attend all PC training sessions and matches (when selected) throughout the season.
Selected PC players should not attend the Development Centre stage of the Player Pathway for that year. However, players at PC may, at their discretion, participate in the Academy Centre programme. Performance Centre activities should be the priority therefore players must consider their overall sport schedule before attending AC activities. Performance Centre players should contact their AC representative to discuss inclusion in the AC activities.
England Hockey documents
Midlands Performance Centres reserves the right to call up AC players for PC assessment or to be part of the Performance Centre squads at any time.