Four National Age Grade (NAGs) squads have been selected to face Scotland in April.
The NAGs Boy’s and Girl’s will be travelling to Scotland in April to compete in their first International series of 2020. This is an annual meeting between the two sides, with both the U16 and U18 squads in action.
Kevin Johnson, Head of Pathway, believes this exposure to International hockey for the young players is critical, particularly those who have been selected for the first time.
“For some of our younger players, this represents an exciting start to their International journey, and it will be good to see how they can make their contribution at this level.”
Selection was made for the four sides following last week’s NAG’s camp which saw the two age groups come together for training, as well as health and well-being sessions over several days.
“Last week’s boys and girls training camps were of a good intensity and highly competitive throughout, so it will be a perfect time to see all squads bring this experience to the matches with Scotland at Easter.
“This selection was a difficult one for the coaching teams, which is a good indication of the strength and depth of our junior programmes, and the competition for places that is apparent within the larger squads.”
The Scotland trip will kick-start preparations for both the U18’s Boys and Girls who will utilise the series as a foundation for the upcoming EuroHockey U18 Youth Championship II, which takes place on the 12-18 July.
Both teams will face some tough competition in their opening Pool games of the Championship with the U18 Boys travelling to Vienna to meet France, Turkey and the Czech Republic, and the U18 Girls drawn against France, Italy and Czech Republic in their Pool games in Zurich.
The Boy’s NAG’s Head Coach, Lee Ible, is pleased with the progress the squad made at the half term camp, and believes it is game time against quality competition that will provide an insight into the progress made and work required moving forward,
“As ever we expect a tough battle against Scotland, it’s our first competitive outing of this International season and these matches will give us a good benchmark as to where we are at and what we need to focus on in the lead up to the heavy summer period, which culminates in the U18 European Championships.
“We are heading to Scotland with two very competent squads. The strength in depth of the NAG squad is as good as it ever has been, in my time as Head Coach. It was tough to come to the final 18’s for each squad, the competition for places was fierce and the quality on display over the last few camps has been really high.”
Gwyn Williams, NAG’s Girls Head Coach, firmly believes that this encounter with Scotland will set his team up well for 2020,
“We have some new players that have come into the programme so I am very much looking forward to seeing how this squad will face the challenges ahead and ultimately perform on the pitch.
“Previous encounters with Scotland have proven to be exciting and tight affairs, but the squad has prepared well and is very much looking to apply themselves as we look to start our build up to the summer and our European Championships.”
Hockey Wales would like to thank everyone for their time and contribution to NAG’s and congratulate all those who have been selected for Scotland.
U18 Girls Squad
U16 Girls Squad
U18 Boys Squad
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