An England Hockey Talent Centre
We welcome secondary age players of all abilities, and we are proud to have many players representing England and Wales at age group level, as well as many others competing at regional Talent Academy and County level.
We believe we have the best talent development environment in the region. As one of only three accredited Talent Centres in the North West, we have undertaken a significant review of our training structure in the last year and now have a fully refreshed offer led by some of the best coaches in the area, and supported by our performance team players and some very committed, capable volunteers.
The full club training schedule can be found here.
Introducing Hockey Foundations
As an England Hockey Talent Centre, we are evolving our training to focus on core skills and developing each individual player. Therefore from this year, all year 6-9s are encouraged to attend our Hockey Foundations Technical Skills training, which is overseen by Assistant Head of Hockey, Connor Jameson and led by members of our performance 1st and 2nd adult teams. This is also open to non-members via separate registration on our Hockey Plus website.
Hockey Foundations is held on Sundays 9.45 – 11.15am at the Altrincham Girls Grammar pitch ‘Devisdale’ off The Firs/Bowdon Road
2023 dates: 24th September, 8th, 15th, 29th October, 5th, 19th, 26th November, 3rd, 17th December
(Note no training on 1, 22 October, 12 November, 10 December)
2024 dates: 7th, 14th, 21st January, 11th February, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th March
(Note no training on 28 January, 4, 18, 25 February)
In addition, each year group also has additional training and gameplay options available.
Year 7: Hockey Foundations plus U12 age group training every Friday 5-6.30pm
Year 8: Hockey Foundations plus U14 age group training alternate Fridays 6.30-8.30pm (boys then girls, both training with U16s)
Year 9: Hockey Foundations and/or Adult Development training as per main timetable, plus U14 age group training alternate Fridays 6.30-8.30pm (boys then girls, both training with U16s)
Years 8-10: U15 intra-club gameplay on Mondays and Thursdays 5-6pm (from 2 October)
Year 10-11: Adult training as per squad on main timetable plus U16 age group training alternate Fridays 6.30 – 8.30pm (boys then girls, both training with U14s)
Year 12-13: Adult training as per squad on main timetable then ad hoc training with age group
Saturday friendly hockey leagues
From year 7, boys and girls start to play in one of our Junior teams who play as part of full 11-a-side teams on full pitches in the North West Consortium friendly league on Saturday afternoons, usually between around 12.30 and 4.30pm – timings depend on pitch availability at different locations.
These leagues have historically been known as ‘Otters, Beavers and Badgers’, and this season we have:
One U12 ‘Otters’ team
Two U13 ‘Beavers’ teams
One U15 ‘Badgers’ team
The purpose of this Saturday gameplay is to:
- Enjoy playing hockey!
- Practice skills developed in training
- Be inclusive
- Learn how to play in different positions and with different players
- Build experience and development at levels
We therefore try to configure teams so we keep similar levels together as much as possible while also developing groups of peers together. This means that our teams are often mixed, although we always aim to keep cohorts of same gender and age together as much as possible. Players are given equal opportunity to play and equal pitch time.
If availability is too high, team managers may ask a player to play in a different team for the week to enable us to get all teams out, or in rare situations, to take turns standing down. Players are also expected to be versatile in where they play on the pitch and playing different positions is part of their development.
We rely on parent or other volunteers to manage, coach and umpire these games so please do all you can to support the volunteer team if you are not able to help yourself.
Players start to move into Womens’ or Mens’ teams from the age of 13 / year 9, although this varies depending on many factors – not just playing ability. You can find out more about the adult league teams here.
If you have any queries about your player’s development or progress, please contact the Junior Development Leads, Dom Maguire (boys) or Toni-Anne Harrison (girls)
Greater Manchester Junior Hockey League (GMJHL)
Greater Manchester Junior Hockey League competitions are held on Sunday afternoons approximately every 4-6 weeks at the Armitage Centre. These are 7-a-side games played on half a pitch and provide additional matchplay experience. The teams depend on parents/siblings to support with organising, managing and umpiring U12s are separate boys and girls teams. U14s is a mixed team (maximum of 3 boys play outfield at any one time).
Open to all year 6 and 7s and in event of over-subscription, priority will be offered to year 6s or new year 7s not playing Beavers games – teams are all-boys and all-girls. This season’s dates are:
Sunday 1 October 2023
Sunday 29 October 2023
Sunday 26 November 2023
Sunday 14 January 2024
Sunday 28 January 2024
Sunday 24 March 2024
Offered to year 8 or 9 players who are not regularly playing in the U14s EH Cup or NW league squad, teams are mixed with a maximum of three boys permitted to play outfield at any one time. This season’s dates are:
Sunday 8 October 2023
Sunday 12 November 2023
Sunday 4 February 2024
Sunday 3 March 2024
Sunday North West leagues and England Hockey Cup age group competitions
We enter the England Hockey Cup competition each year across all age groups for both boys and girls teams: U12, U14, U16 and U18.
In addition, to support juniors playing together after age 13, England Hockey have introduced regional leagues for U14 and U16. You can find out more about the EH Cup and NW leagues here.
We select competitive U14 and U16 teams for these so stronger and more committed players are encouraged to take part in these matches if possible – this may mean not playing in the Saturday Badgers/Beavers leagues some weeks if they need to prioritise their hockey commitments!
You can see fixtures on the club calendar, although start times are often only confirmed the week before.
England Hockey County
Keen players are also encouraged, if they would like to, take part in England Hockey County sessions. These involve trials for U12, U13, U14, U15, U17 and U18 which are known as ‘Junior Development Centre – JDC’. If selected, players become part of the ‘Junior Academy Centre – JAC’ for the coming season. If interested, please contact Dom Maguire.
More information on the England Hockey Player Pathway can be found here.