• HockeyWales


The recipients of the Hockey Writers’ Club Youth and Junior Awards for 2018, sponsored by Higgins Group, were announced at its annual awards lunch yesterday (Jan 16) at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London.

The four winners were presented with their prestigious rising star awards alongside the senior men’s and women’s players of the year.

The judging panel sought information from coaches, clubs and schools, with the judges considering not just hockey ability but players’ personal qualities and potential for future development.

Past winners of Higgins awards include Rio Olympic Games gold medalists Maddie Hinch and Sophie Bray. 

We’d like to congratulate Beth Wood (Christ College) and Ellis Robson (Cardiff & Met) on winning their respective awards! Both well deserved, congratulations!

Youth, Girls 18 and under – Beth Wood

Beth plays her school hockey at Christ College Brecon in Mid-Wales, which despite being a small school with only 350 pupils has in the past four years won no fewer than 10 national school titles. Beth has been instrumental in helping the school win back-to-back U18 Girls titles and scored the decisive penalty in the shoot-out in last season’s final.

Beth has also been a core member of the Wales U18 Girls team for a number of years and has helped them win medals and promotions at European championship tournaments. Her hard work and dedication recently led to her selection to the Wales Senior Women’s squad and a first senior appearance in a Test match v Scotland in October.

Her passion for the game is incredibly infectious and with the captain of hockey at school, she has helped to create an amazing atmosphere in the 1s.

Coming from a passionate and committed hockey family, she has recently started to share her knowledge and experience by coaching at camps during school holidays.

She does not shout about her success or her ability, and just cracks on in an unassuming, humble manner. This is a huge part of what makes her so worthy of recognition.

Words by Chris Marriott, Christ College coach


Junior, Boys 16 and under – Ellis Robson

In the last 10 years, I have been lucky enough to meet and watch many young players undertaking club, school, Player Pathway and international activities both as a coach and a manager.

In my view Ellis is probably the most focused and determined player that I have come across. He will not be the first to speak up in a discussion but he will be the one who has most analysed the points under consideration to determine how best to implement them.

Ellis first came to prominence when he scored 24 goals for King’s School Gloucester to take them through to the finals of the U11 IAPS tournament. With Cheltenham HC, he has won the U14 and U16 National Championships and the U16 National Indoor Finals in 2018.

In 2018 he represented England at U16, scoring 11 goals including a hat-trick against the Netherlands. He was called up to train with the England U18s; was capped seven times and has scored 21 goals in 39 internationals.

Representing Cheltenham on the first day of the 2017/18 season, aged 15 and 22 days, Ellis may have become the youngest ever goal scorer in the National League. He remained a regular player throughout last season but this year has moved to Cardiff & Met HC where he has scored several goals.

Walid Abdo, Head Coach for Cardiff & Met HC, said: “Since joining Cardiff & Met, Ellis has been nothing short of impressive. I am really enjoying playing a part in the next stage of his development. He’s technically very good, physically fit, tactically sound and has a real mental strength to take him to the next level.”

Words by Phil Robson, Academy Club Captain, Cheltenham HC

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