Junior players from across Scotland will attend Dundee Ice Arena on Sunday aiming to take the next step on the road to representing their country at the Conference Weekend in Sheffield next year.
The weekend is the showpiece of the junior ice hockey calendar and features rising talent from across the UK. A Scotland versus England U19 international game kicks-off the event on day one, with over 40 Conference games taking place over the next three days. Scotland coach Steven Lynch says he’s looking forward to this year’s selection process.
“The clubs have put forward names of players to try out from U11 through to U17 level,” said Lynch. “We have three trials on the last Sunday of the next three months, and after those we pick squads of 25 for every age group.
“Around January or February time we’ll announce our final squads of 19 players who’ll travel south next May and we’re hoping to continue our recent improvements.
“Last year our U11 and U13 teams both reached their finals and were unlucky to lose. The U17 side carried themselves very well and although the U15 team didn’t perform as well as we’d hoped they did face really tough opposition.
“The ultimate goal for all our age groups, including the U19 team who will face England, is to go down there and get as much success as we can. We’re going into year three of this cycle of the national programme which I’ve overseen with Barry Carnegie and this was the year we said we’d hoped to see the rewards of what we’ve put in place.
“The ultimate aim is to produce a pathway for players into the SNL and the Elite League too. Some players may eventually get their chance in the top flight, but as a bare minimum I’d hope many would find their way in the the SNL and hopefully help improve the standard in the future.”