COACH LEE MARSHALL TALKS FUTURES CUP…
As the Futures Cup reaches the halfway point the four Welsh squads can reflect on a batch of good performances against very strong opposition. The Futures Cup marks an annual change for the Welsh age groups and this year has seen a number of players make their tournament debut in the age group set up, or moving from the under 15 to the under 17 age groups and the step up in pace and intensity that comes with it.
The focus of the tournament is about learning and development for the best young players in Great Britain as they continue on to what they hope will be senior international hockey careers. For the Welsh players in particular it is also a chance to play against a set of well organised and talented teams that stretches their capabilities and means they need to sharpen their own performances to match.
Reflecting on his first experience of supporting a national age group team in a tournament under 15 boys assistant coach Lee Marshall said:
You can see the players are really having to push themselves in order to compete in each match but they are relishing the challenge that brings. They have put in some good performances and are taking lots of learning from all aspects of the games that they can carry through the coming season and use to develop into a stronger squad for future tournaments. For me as new coach to NAGs it has been a great experience and is helping me to develop as well so I can better support the players. The level of detail that goes into the planning and review for each match is a step up from what I am used to and shows what it takes to operate modern international hockey teams.
Playing as the Celtic Jaguars against four regions from England and a team from Scotland the NAGs players will also have the opportunity to take part in a question and answer session with current senior GB international players as well as try their hands at yoga and a mind skills workshop. The event looks to develop young players as a whole and not just focus on the pitch aspects of being an international hockey player.