Cambridge City Hockey Club look to the future with launch of academy
Aiming to continue rich legacy of developing talent
Nick Thompson has hailed an exciting time for Cambridge City Hockey Club as they launch a new academy to develop stars of the future.
City are set to begin the 2018/19 campaign with two new hockey pitches at Wilberforce Road, but that is not the only development at the club during the off-season.
They have had a rich pedigree of putting talented youngsters on their way to national and international recognition, such as James Albery and Tess Howard, and they are looking to further that pathway system.
Under the guidance of former head coach and two-time Olympian Thompson, they have launched a new academy.
Thompson, who earned 196 international caps for England and Great Britain and scored 56 goals, will be director of the academy and under-16 girls’ performance coach.
“Our aim is to create an environment where the players not only recognise their potential, but want to work at the intensity that’s required to achieve this goal,” said Thompson, who scored 280 goals in the National Leagues to be the all-time highest scorer at one point.
“Our ethos of top-down excellence allows players across all three stages to be seen and helped by our quality coaches.
“Whilst providing more contact time with the juniors, our aim is to also help facilitate a smooth transition into senior club hockey.
“With the new facilities and the launch of the academy these really are exciting times for Cambridge City Hockey Club.”
The academy is for under-14 to under-18 boys and girls, and will have a three-stage system designed to identify talent and monitor and encourage players.
Thompson has assembled a strong coaching team.
City men’s second team captain Grant Gilmour will be the under-16 boys’ performance coach and England under-16, 18 and 21 and GB under-23 training squad member Megan Crowson will be the under-14 girls’ performance coach.
England age group and under-21 player Euan Gilmour, top scorer for City’s first team for the past three seasons, will be the academy under-14 boys’ performance coach and Damien Rigden will be the under-18 girls’ performance coach, having guided The Leys School under-16 girls to the national schools finals this year.
Sam Coe will be the strength and conditioning coach for the academy.
Each player is being assessed into groups within the system, and that will include club training for players of all standards; performance training for selected players for each age group with additional training from academy coaches; and elite training dedicated to certain players combined with strength and conditioning.