Playing in senior league hockey is an ambition of many junior players. At CCHC (as well as England Hockey), we believe taking part in senior hockey is a key part of a junior player's development and it is encouraged but not expected. Junior players are present in all teams across the club (over 70 represented the club last season at all levels of senior competition) and in turn make a significant contribution to the club’s competitive achievements.
We even have several parent and child combinations in some senior teams.
However, the transition to senior hockey needs to be done in a managed way, balancing the needs of the senior teams and the junior player and in line with the Right Athlete, Right Environment (RARE) principles from England Hockey.
The time and level at which a junior plays senior hockey will vary for each individual, depending on their aspiration, experience and capability. To make this judgement, we must be able to build and maintain a whole view of the player’s ambition and performance. We cannot build this view if the junior plays their age group hockey at another club so for juniors to be eligible for senior hockey training and selection, they must also commit to any age group hockey being with CCHC.
The Youth Section will poll members from time to time to identify players who have an appetite for senior hockey. Youth players may also raise their interest with their age group coach at any time.
If a youth player has expressed a desire to play senior hockey, they will be invited at the discretion of the youth coaches and respective club captains to join senior club training, enabling assessment of their performance and a decision to be made about the right starting level for senior hockey.
Players should also be aware that they are not selected to be a member of a particular squad exclusively. They may be asked to play up or down a team, or not to play at all on certain weekends, depending on the needs of the club and their own performance and development needs. The club captains and the Youth Head Coach oversee selection of youth players for senior teams.
The club keeps a careful eye on the youth player playing across the senior teams, with regular review by the Club Captains and Youth Head Coach. This process is overseen by our Player Pathway Manager, Tara Goldsmith who is very happy to answer any questions players or parents might have.