Great Britain national development head coach Tony Hand MBE will attend the England National Team Programme (ENTP) development camps at Ice Sheffield later this month.

Hand has been in regular contact with ENTP staff since January and will now see first hand the work being done by a resurgent England National Team Programme.

“I am really looking forward to going to the England camps,” Hand said. “I know the programme is progressing and I look forward to helping out further.

“I have heard that Ben (Pitchley) and Gary (Apsley) are doing great work with their programme and I know that some of the GB staff have already taken a keen interest in what the England programme is currently doing.

“I want to see the progress they are making for myself and I am looking forward to seeing how the kids are responding to the challenges of the England programme.”

GB camps are currently taking place in Ice Sheffield this week and Hand has also been in attendance with the under-16s taking to the ice.

England head coach, Ben Pitchley, said: “We have met with the GB leadership team a few times already this year and there has been much said about forging closer working relationships between ENTP and GB.

“But time is always short and it takes a great deal of effort to get everyone together at the same time. I am delighted that Tony (Hand) is able to spend some time with us next week and I am looking forward to showing what the current England set-up is capable of delivering.”

The two-day EIHA national programme event takes place at Ice Sheffield on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th October.

Pitchley added. “We will be operating with six age groups next week and with more than 35 staff in attendance. I am very confident that Tony will see a very professional and extremely well-organised camp.”

England director, Geoff Hemmerman, added: “I have known Tony (Hand) for many years and he is 100% focussed on ice hockey.

“With his many years playing and coaching experience he has seen pretty much everything the game has to offer and coming to our camps in Sheffield next week he will see what the England programme is trying to achieve and deliver with players who will hopefully go on to represent Great Britain in World Championship tournaments.

“It is certainly an exciting time for England right now.”