NORTHERN Inland Academy of Sport conducted trials for its boys’ and girls’ squads on Saturday.
NSW Insitute of Sport and Hockey NSW coach Judy Laing was in Tamworth to help NIAS head coaches Andrew Farmilo (girls) and Sam Lobsey (boys) select squads.
Laing said regional academies provide valuable pathways for the juniors and a stepping stone from the grass roots level of club and junior hockey.
She said the ETS (Emerging Talent Squad) run by NSWIS and HNSW is also the next step up the rung of identifying and developing young talent.
From the ETS it is then into the NSWIS for the “top end” talents.
“This provides opportunities for all your grass roots players,” Laing said of the NIAS hockey squads.
“They have the opportunity to have regular sessions up here.”
She said the whole sysyetm works well.
“You can’t provide regular coaching unless you have a good network,” she said.
Farmilo said 16 players wouldbe selected for the up-coming NIAS hockey season.
“We have about 20 trialling today,” he said.
“That’s down a bit from previous years.”
He said between eight to 10 sessions would be held after the squad is selected, with the major emphasis being on preparation for the the Regional Academies’ Academy Games in Wollongong next April.
While the girls trialled Saturday morning, the boys, under new head coach Sam Lobsey, trialled Saturday afternoon.
They also had about 20 trial and went through a two-hour session covering fitness, general skills and finishing off with a bit of a Super 9s game.
“It was a good two-hour session and gave us a good idea of where everyone was at,” Lobsey said.
He’ll be assisted by former boys’ head coach Greg Doolan with Ian Woodley coming in as manager.
It’ll be his first time involved with the program too.