Cambridge Talent Academy

Welcome to the Cambridge Talent Academy hosted by Cambridge City HC.


England Hockey has selected Cambridge City Hockey Club (CCHC) to host a Talent Academy in Cambridge for the next three years, starting September 2022. This is a key step in the introduction of the new England Hockey Talent System.

The Cambridge Talent Academy (CTA) will select and develop squads of ~25 girls and ~25 boys aged 15-18 (school year 10, 11, 12 and 13) from schools, clubs, and counties, in the catchment area who have the potential and commitment to make it to the highest level of hockey. 

It is not expected that the Talent Academy squads will necessarily remain consistent for the whole season, with players moving out and/or others invited to join as they develop over the season.

As well as running the Talent Academy, CTA will also run a Talent Academy Camp, with pitch sessions run monthly alongside a TA session. Players will be invited to participate in these sessions based on what is right for them. Talent Academy Camp players will be invited to all classroom sessions run by CTA during the year (1 per week on average) and will be invited to play in some of the TA Festival Matches. Talent Academy Camp (~25 girls and ~25 boys) players will typically be:

  • younger, or
  • have had less hockey exposure but show development potential, or        
  • live further away and cannot travel every week for sessions, or
  • a combination of the above


Talent Academy catchments have been confirmed after consultation from all the Talent Academies and EH. A list of catchment area clubs for Cambridge Talent Academy can be found on the CTA menu here.

Our CTA head coach and lead coaches have been identified, and we are pleased to have their support.

The head coaches are supported by a group of assistant coaches providing various types of general and specialist coaching experience, such as goalkeeping, drag flicking etc.

The Cambridge Talent Academy serves the region, and whilst hosted by and sharing resources with CCHC, it has an independent management structure (the Chairperson and Head Coach are from outside CCHC) and is self-financing. CTA coaching will mostly take place in Cambridge, but we will endeavour to run sessions in different parts of the region to help manage the travel burden and build relationships with other clubs. If your club is interested in hosting a Monday TA session – please let us know cambridgetalentacademy@gmail.com.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please email cambridgetalentacademy@gmail.com.

Assessment & Selection

Talent Academy players will be selected slightly differently in Year 1 (22-23) because Talent Academies will only just be in place before the 2022-3 cycle starts.

There will be two routes for selection into Talent Academy for the 2022-23 cycle:

  • Via a 2021-2 Performance Centre: All current Performance Centre players will be invited to trial
  • Via an Open Nomination: clubs, schools, and counties nominated players who were not part of the 2021-2 Performance Centre (PC) Programme.


Assessment of players nominated through both routes will take place in September and October 2022. PC Players nominated for Challenge Cup will be offered multiple sessions of assessments to allow players to have multiple opportunities to be seen. Players nominated from open nominations and PC players not in the Challenge Cup will have an initial session, and then if successful will be offered the same multiple sessions as those in the Challenge Cup.

There will be no limit to the number of assessments a player can attend in a season - this is to accommodate the often rapid development players have at the age of 15-18.

Players who attend TA assessments will be entered into the EH player tracking System. Furthermore, once nominated and regardless of whether successful or not successful in assessments, there will be regular 'check-ins' between TA coaches and their club/school coaches. Those who do not get selected for TA or TA Camps will be monitored and offered further assessments when appropriate.

If you have not been nominated and feel that you should have an opportunity for assessment, please ask your coach to contact us to discuss an assessment. The new pathway is designed to be open and accessible and assessments can be arranged at any point during the season.

From September 2022 onwards, England Hockey will be supporting TAs with Talent Scouts who will be responsible for spotting players and helping liaise with the relevant TAs about player nominations and assessments. The coaching team from CTA will also be actively scouting for players during the season.

The CTA will work with your clubs/schools/county centres to ensure the most appropriate decisions are made about where and how selected players develop and play their hockey based on the RARE (right athlete, right environment) principle. Attending the Cambridge Talent Academy and Talent Academy Camps DOES NOT mean players are joining/have to join and play for, the host club, CCHC.

CTA will be working with England Hockey and making contact with all relevant clubs and schools to make the transition from the old performance system as smooth as possible.

Talent Academy Camps

The Talent Academy Camps are designed to provide a pathway into the Talent Academy and the opportunity to participate in a high-intensity and stretch environment every month, giving the players insights into what is expected and facilitating a longer more in-depth phase of assessment. Players can be invited to join the Talent Academy at any point during the year from the Talent Academy Camps based on their readiness and development and vice versa.

CTA will be running Talent Academy Camps alongside the Talent Academy. These will be monthly training sessions alongside the TA session. Players will be invited to participate in these sessions based on what is right for them applying the RARE (Right Athlete-Right Environment) principle. Talent Camp players will also be invited to all classroom sessions run by CTA during the year (1 per week on average) and will be invited to play in some of the TA Festival Matches. 

Calendar

The total hours of coaching and classroom sessions are as follows:

Talent Academy

  • Pitch time: 125 hours / 45 sessions
  • Zoom/classroom: 53.5 hours / 30 sessions
  • Festivals*: 10 'day' sessions
  • Total**: 196 hours

Talent Academy Camp

  • Pitch time: 35 hours / 14 sessions
  • Zoom/classroom: 53.5 hours / 30 sessions
  • Festivals*: Invites based on RARE
  • Total**: 105 hours plus festivals

* Festivals and 'End of Year Competitions' will have match fees associated with them.

** Total hours include attending a number of festivals but not 'End of Year Competitions'.

The CTA calendar has been designed to accommodate school holidays as much as possible – but we will inevitably cross over on some dates due to the number of face-time hours that need to be delivered and other EH central calendar event dates. The pitch time will be slightly lower in Sept-Apr and slightly increase in May-July to accommodate players' hockey diaries and not overload them.

Payment of fees is monthly in advance process to spread the cost and allow for transitions from Talent Academy and Talent Academy Camp to be made easily.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email cambridgetalentacademy@gmail.com.

Kit

We are very proud and grateful for the support of MR Cricket and Hockey for sponsoring our kit.

Each player will require home and away shirts (sky blue and yellow), shorts/skorts and socks (sky blue and yellow). Optional training layers and waterproof coats are also available.

More information on how to order will be made available here soon.

When ordering, please ensure you have your TA player number assigned, as this will need to be printed on your kit.

Fees

Talent Academies are self-funded.

The cost of the Cambridge Talent Academy will be published later in the summer, once we have finalised coaching and logistics arrangements. Because of the reduced numbers, Talent Academies will be more expensive per player than Performance Centre.  

Fees will be due monthly in advance. 

TA Bursaries

Cambridge Talent Academy supports access to development opportunities irrespective of social or economic background. We have a bursary policy to support those players who need it. Our inclusivity policy is designed to ensure openness and opportunity for everyone.

Coaching Philosophy

The CTA coaching philosophy is one that embraces RARE and fosters encouragement, openness, stretch when appropriate, respect, and support.

More Information will be available here soon.

Who will deliver the coaching?

A CTA head coach (independent from CCHC), and lead coaches (both independent and part of CCHC), have been identified. We will draw on coaching support from both within and outside CCHC and use the Talent Academy to support coaches development in the region.

Coach Development Support

The Cambrdige Talent Academy serves the region - and as part of this we are supporting the coaching development in the region - not just the players. Coaches from clubs are welcome to attend and contribute to the TA and TA Camp sessions during the year. We will be sharing some of the classroom session recording with coaches and clubs to support players and coaches development.

IF you join a coaching session we will ask you to contribute and take part in the coaching as we feel this is the best way to support development. This will offer a an opportunity to receive development support from some amazing coaches and build your network at the same time.

If you would lke to attend CTA as a coach or are interested in receiving some of the recorded player classroom sessions please let us know cambridgetalentacademy@gmail.com.

Sponsors

The Cambridge Talent Academy (CTA) will be delivered in collaboration with Cambridge University and other local institutions.

We are very proud and grateful for the support of MR Cricket and Hockey for sponsoring our kit. 

Catchment Area

The following clubs and teams fall into the Cambridge TA catchment area. If you feel that attending a different TA based on your location would better support your individual travel commitments, please contact us at cambridgetalentacademy@gmail.com so we can discuss and find the best TA provision for you.

Beccles HC

Bedford HC

Blueharts HC

Bourne Deeping HC

Braintree HC

Breckland HC

Broadland HC

Bury St Edmunds HC

Cambridge City HC

Cambridge City Junior HC

Cambridge Nomads HC

Cambridge South HC

Carrow HC

Castaways HC

Christchurch

City of Peterborough HC

Dereham HC

Diss Greyhound HC

Earls Barton HC

East Coast HC

Ely City HC

Evergreens HC

Felixstowe HC

Framlingham HC

Grammarians LHC

Grasshoppers

Harleston Magpies HC

Haverhill HC

Herlings HC

Hornets HC

Huntingdon HC

Ipswich Cranes HC

Ipswich East Suffolk HC

Ipswich Seven HC

Kettering HC

Letchworth HC

Loddon Women's HC

Long Sutton HC

March Town HC

Newmarket HC

Norfolk Nomads HC

North Norfolk HC

Norwich City HC

Norwich Dragons HC

Olney Ladies HC

Oundle HC

Panthers Ladies HC

Pelicans HC

Reepham HC

Royston HC

Saffron Walden HC

Shefford & Sandy HC

St. Ives HC

St. Neots HC

Sudbury HC

The LX Club HC

Thetford Town HC

University of Cambridge HC

University of East Anglia Ladies HC

University of East Anglia Mens HC

Watton HC

Wellingborough HC

Wisbech Town HC

Yarmouth HC

1.  What is a Talent Academy? (Copy from EH)

Talent Academies are intended for the highest potential 15 – 18-year-old players, replacing Performance Centres. EH estimate that the current talent pool will yield approximately 500 players per gender, requiring the intensity and commitment of a Talent Academy. This equates to the top 60% of players who currently attend Performance Centres, plus those who are part of England Age Group squads.

There will be multiple opportunities most weeks for high-quality coaching and training through a combination of dedicated sessions and integration with other activities delivered by the host. Every Talent Academy will have a squad of players selected through a robust process based on the England Hockey Player Profile.

Talent Academies will select from players nominated by Clubs, Schools and Counties, broadening the access routes into the highest levels of hockey development.

Cambridge Talent Academy (CTA) will be inviting a broader group of players (c.25 boys and c.25 girls) to join its Talent Academy Camps, running monthly pitch sessions alongside Talent Academy training and with access to the CTA classroom sessions. Players may be invited to be assessed for the Talent Academy and Talent Academy Camps at any time during the season.

 

2.  What’s the difference between a Talent Academy and a Talent Centre? (Copy from EH)

Talent Centre is accreditation of a club. A Talent Academy is a separate coaching organisation hosted and operated by a club. A Talent Centre club provides high-quality provision for players at the early talent development level (Talent Foundations). This provision will be embedded within the club’s junior programme. Talent Centre accreditation recognises the quality of a club’s talent development environment and provision, not individual players. CCHC will be applying for Talent Centre accreditation during the 2022/23 season.

 

3.  Who will the Cambridge Talent Academy cater for?

England Hockey estimates that Talent Academies will cater for the top 60% of players who currently attend Performance Centres, plus those who are part of England Age Group squads. 

The Cambridge Talent Academy (CTA) will select and develop squads of c.25 girls and c. boys aged 15-18 from schools, clubs and counties in the catchment area, who have the potential and commitment to make it to the highest level of international hockey.  Talent Academy catchment areas have been published after consultation between all the Talent Academies and England Hockey. These may change in year 2 as the additional Talent Academies are appointed.

 

4.  Once selected, is my place in a Talent Academy Squad assured?

No - England Hockey expects there to be some fluidity during the season, with some players potentially being dropped from the TA squad and others invited to join, depending on their performance and commitment or attendance paused temporarily based on their current school/club/NAGS playing demands.

 

5.  What is the Talent Academy Camp concept?

The Talent Academy Camps are designed to provide a pathway into the Talent Academy and the opportunity to participate in a high-intensity and stretch environment every month, giving the players insights into what is expected and facilitating a longer more in-depth phase of assessment. Players can be invited to join the Talent Academy at any point during the year from the Talent Academy Camps based on their readiness and development and vice versa.

 

6.  Who will deliver the coaching?

A CTA head coach (independent from CCHC), and lead coaches (both independent and part of CCHC), have been identified. We will draw on coaching support from both within and outside CCHC and use the Talent Academy to support coaches' development in the region. Coaches from clubs and schools are very welcome to join TA sessions and the classroom sessions to help develop their coaching skills. When you attend a session you will be involved in the session and be given development support from the TA coaching staff. If you are interested in attending TA sessions as a coach please let us know cambridgetalentacademy@gmail.com.

 

7.  Will my chances of getting into the Talent Academy be better if I join CCHC? (Copy from EH FAQ)

No. A key principle of the new system is that there are NO pre-requisites to progress from one stage to the next. It is a system not a pathway. A player does not need to attend a Talent Centre, or a particular club to progress to a Talent Academy, and a player does not need to attend a Talent Academy to progress to an England Age Group programme.

The Cambridge Talent Academy serves the region, and whilst hosted by, and sharing resources with CCHC, it has an independent management structure under the umbrella of the club and is self-financing. The CTA Head Coach is from outside CCHC, and the CTA has an independent chairman.

 

8.  Do I have to join CCHC if selected to attend the Talent Academy?

No. This decision depends on each player’s circumstances and what is right for them in terms of their access to competitive senior and age group hockey. Membership options will be discussed with each player and their club once selected based on the RARE (Right Athlete, Right Environment) principle.

The key is that the CTA coaching team will maintain a rounded view of the player’s hockey experience and progress wherever they play their hockey.

 

9.  Where will the CTA coaching take place and how often?

CTA coaching will for the most part take place once a week in Cambridge, but we anticipate running occasional sessions in different parts of the region to help manage the travel burden and build relationships with other clubs. There will also be 10 TA festivals held at home and other TAs over the year.

A key difference to the old system is that coaches at the Talent Academy will look at the player’s whole hockey experience – taking into account the level and amount of hockey they play at school, club and the academy itself.

We are also looking at how we balance the demand on players’ time – for example adjusting the balance of pitch time and intensity between boys and girls for those whose school only plays hockey for one term.

 

10. How will players be selected for the CTA? (Copy from EH)

Talent Academy players will be selected slightly differently in Year 1 (22-23) because Talent Academies will only just be in place not long before the 2022-3 cycle starts.

There will be two routes for selection into Talent Academy for the 2022-23 cycle:

  • Via a 2021-2 Performance Centre nomination: All current Performance Centre players will be invited to trial. Each Talent Academy and the England Hockey Talent Team will work closely together to select the players for assessments based on profiles developed during the 2021-2 Performance Centre cycle and the Performance Centre Challenge Cup.
  • Via an Open Nomination: clubs, schools, and counties nominated players who were not part of the 2021-2 Performance Centre (PC) Programme.

Assessment of players nominated through both routes will take place in September and October 2022.


11. What happens if I am currently at PC but don’t get into Talent Academy?

Talent Academy serves fewer players and an older age range than Performance Centre (15-18 rather than U15 and U17). So some players currently at PC or expecting to progress from Academy Centre to PC will not be selected for Talent Academy in the initial entry.

However, the CTA will be offering Talent Academy Camps to a broader group of players, giving them access to some of the CTA resources, and the potential to be in​​vited to the main Talent Academy at any time.

Their hockey development will also continue to be delivered by their club and county.

Because the new Talent System recognises that development of potential is non-linear, all players remain eligible to be nominated for Talent Academy at any time.


12. How much will it cost and will we have to buy new kit?

Talent Academies are self-funded. The cost of the Cambridge Talent Academy will be published in the summer once we have finalised coaching and logistics arrangements. Because of the reduced numbers, Talent Academies will be more expensive per player than Performance Centre.  

Fees will be due monthly in advance.

We will be using a new CTA branded kit that will be provided by 'Mr Cricket and Hockey'.

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