Academy (AC)



The Academy Centre is a centralised county training programme and the next step on the Player Pathway ladder following Development Centres. Players will be selected from the Academy Centre assessment and invited to join the programme which will have training sessions and competition dates between September and April.

The programme runs over a longer period of time to allow greater opportinity for development and have multiple opportunities to represent the county in competitive environments against other West counties. All training times, dates, venues and the same for competition can be found within individual team pages under the 'Player Pathway' option in the menu bar. Age groups and squad volumes are listed below

2021-2022 Cycle

Currently the international, England Age Groups and player pathway activity is based on the calendar year e.g., U15 refers to players 14 or under on 1 January. Clubs and schools use the academic year e.g., U15 refers to players 14 or under on 31 August. This means there is a four-month disparity across the environments, commonly known as age trapping. 

England Hockey has considered, in consultation with the Player Pathway Committee, whether to revert to the 1 September age band for County (Sub Area) hockey. 

Reasons to change:  

  • Simplifies administration by aligning Player Pathway activity with clubs and schools. 
  • Easier for players, parents, coaches, and all involved to understand. 
  • Most players move ‘through’ the age groups with their peer group. 
  • Disparity in age bandings/ and issues of age-trapping will only impact a small number of players at England Age Group level rather than a larger number involved in the Player Pathway.

Therefore, from 1 September 2021 the following age bands will come into place in County (Sub Area) Hockey.  


U14 - Sep 2007 -  Aug 2009. School years 8 and 9. (May include exceptional year 7 players)

Squad of  25-28 including 2 GK's
to field 2x11aside- teams, narrowed down to 1 squad for final tournaments.

U15  - Sep 2006- Aug 2007 - School year 10 

Squad of 18 outfield and 2 GK's 
 to field 1x11aside teams 

U17- Combined U16 and U17 age group. Sep 2004 - Aug 2006 (Year 11 and 12). 

Squad of 18 outfield and 2 GK's
to field 1x11aside teams 
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From September 2017 the programme will take on less players than before to improve the quality of the training sessions through the condensing of coaching resources meaning those successful will receive a far superior programme than ever before. Why? As a county we want to try and create an oversupply of players to the next level (Performance Centres) and in time see more Devon players in the national squads. Its a long way off but we must start somewhere to see future success.

As places are fewer however, players must fully commit to the programme and give advanced notice of any absences. At the assessment not only will the initial squads be selected but a further 5 players for each group recorded incase replacements are needed somewhere along the cycle. We want to add more prestige to representing your county and are working with West Hockey to hopefully provide county cup competitons in future. 

Players who do not progress to Performance Centre either within the year or by the following summer will be asked to re-enter the system the following September at AC Assessment level but the next age group up. The only exception is if you become too old for the system and therefore must seek the best student or club represenation to be selected for the National Development groups.



At this stage of the system, any queries about your sessions should be directed to the lead coaches but if you have any issues you can't ressolve please contact the Devon Player Pathway CoOrdinator.


AC 2020-2021 will cost £75 per person.

Competitions dates will have a seperate match fees as not all players will play in all competition dates. Match fees will be £5 payable on the day to coaches.

Payment should be made via the England Hockey Player Pathway System.

If for whatever reason this is not possible you can use BACs payment, please see details below.  

DHA Single System Account

Nat West Exeter

Sort Code: 56-00-49

Account number: 32366280


Please also visit the Academy Centre Kit page to order your training gear. 

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Please complete the short form to register as a player, coach, young umpire/official, School and Club to be kept up to date with all the developments in the county.

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