A hockey Talent Academy is already under way at King William’s College over the autumn, continuing over the winter until March.

The second of six days of coaching delivery to young local hockey players took place on Sunday, along with coaching development for local coaches.

Each session is led by England Hockey Talent Academy coaches with local coaches assisting.

The joint England Hockey/Manx Hockey Association initiative intends to provide extra ‘touch points’ and coaching time for existing EH Talent Academy players.

It also provides an environment where other players who aspire to Talent Academy status can be invited to take part and be considered by the EH coaches delivering the sessions.

The Academy provides an environment where players who have elected to focus on their studies can receive coaching from EH coaches to help them continue to develop their hockey.

It provides an environment for local ‘talent development’ coaches to upskill and familiarise themselves with the standards, terminology and delivery methods utilised by the EH coaches, with a view to improving the local coaching offering and driving standards up.

Seven locally-educated players have been selected to attend West Lancashire Talent Academy but, as many of the sessions are on Monday evenings, they struggle to attend during term-time.

The players are: Ela-Jayne Blakemore, Archie Cox, Kyle Gunnion, Oscar Lace, Claire Mason, Joseph Savage and Lucie Sutterby.

Martha Broderick is also a Talent Academy player and is attending the KWC sessions whenever home.

The following players were nominated by the Isle of Man junior squad coaches to attend the sessions: Alex Andrew, James Carcas, Summer Craig, Dominic Hubble, Kian Ledwidge, Luca Parlato, Leonard Plass, Ella Treutler and Rhyse Williams. It is likely that a couple more players will be of added at a later date.

Future dates are: Sundays, December 4, January 22, March 12 and March 26.

The sessions are longer and at a higher intensity than those currently delivered at under-14, u16 and u18 level in the island.

While the Talent Academy sessions are not open to other players outside of those selected, other juniors are welcome to go along and watch from the sidelines to pick up tips of their own.

Clubs should ensure that the young players should not play more than one game on the day prior to their five or six-hour training with the Talent Academy on Sundays.

While the England Hockey-contracted coaches are paid by EHA the additional costs of flights, accommodation and facility hire etc is paid locally by the players’ parents. Consequently MHA welcomes sponsorship from local businesses to reduce the parental contribution costs. If any of the Manx hockey family is able to assist it would be appreciated.

Get in touch with Manx Hockey Association if you would like anymore information, or to become sponsor of the Talent Academy.