England Hockey’s Futures Cup to be hosted by St Albans Hockey Club

Oaklands College will be the base for the Hockey Futures Cup in 2016 and 2017

Oaklands College will be the base for the Hockey Futures Cup in 2016 and 2017 - Credit: Archant

St Albans Hockey Club has been chosen as the venue for the Futures Cup – the pinnacle event of the England Hockey player pathway.

The club’s Oaklands College pitches will play host to the tournament in October this year, and August next.

It will see U16 and U18 teams, for both boys and girls, from across the country, including one from Scotland and Wales.

The format mirrors an international event to give developing England players a sense of what they might experience if they are selected to play for their country.

Sally Mapley, the player pathway manager, said: “After an extensive process involving many potential venues we are delighted to appoint St Albans Hockey Club, in association with Oaklands College and University of Hertfordshire, as the host venue for England Hockey Futures Cup.

“Futures Cup 2016 will be the launch of the player pathway and I am sure will provide a fantastic platform to start the exciting development in the provision for our talented young hockey players.”

Andy Bowskill, St Albans’ director of hockey, said: “It is the most prestigious junior event in the national calendar and provides a great opportunity for our elite young talent to showpiece their skills in preparation for National Squad representation.”

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One man who has a foot in both camps is Andy Halliday, head coach of St Albans’ men and Great Britain Men’s Team Manager.

He said: “It is fantastic to see the tournament will be held at St Albans Hockey Club where we have developed the facilities with a focus on performance.

“I have no doubt that the strong infrastructure and willing club volunteers will ensure this event is a roaring success.”

Head of Great Briain talent development Ed Barney said: “Providing a challenging, best versus best competition environment that supports player development and allows players to develop their skills under pressure is fantastic.

“From a Great Britain perspective, it’s great that we will be seeing the best talent from across the country in one place.

“This will only aid the work that we are doing in developing more world-leading players.”