With plans well afoot for his 2018/19 Bracknell Bees team Head Coach Doug Sheppard has turned his sights on building a closer relationship with the Junior Club.
Doug, along with Head coach of the Juniors Michael Simmons have a vision which will become a reality to see a clear pathway built for the Bracknell Juniors to give them the realistic opportunity to play hockey for the Hornets and Bees.
Around the country too many promising juniors are lost to the sport as the pathway to the senior club isn’t always clear and defined which is something both Doug and Mike are determined to ensure isn’t the case in Bracknell.
Doug Sheppard has a clear vision of a successful Bees team as can be seen in his signings for 18/19. The roster signed however doesn’t mean there won’t be opportunities available for the talented top age Juniors and Hornets players to train with or even play for the Bees this season.
Doug Sheppard explained; “It’s obvious that a successful junior programme today will be a great help to a successful Bees team in the future. I’ve had meetings with the junior club and I know the coaches and management are determined to work together to a common goal of taking in children at the earliest age possible, giving them the very best coaching and helping them achieve their goals. We’re all confident that the structure in place can produce players who will be pushing to wear the Bees’ jersey in the future.”
He continued; “We’re looking to create a feeder system and a clear pathway to send out the message to our juniors that we’re investing in their future and that there is a chance one day they can go on to represent their senior team. I know if we get this right we can attract top players and build a strong programme which will benefit the Juniors and Hornets immediately and the Bees in the long term.”
Club Chairman Rory Gavin said; “There are a lot of positive vibes around Bracknell since the appointment of Doug Sheppard as Head Coach of the Bees. There have been several meetings between the Junior club and the Bees management and we are building a clear pathway from LTP right through junior hockey, the Hornets and the Bees. There are very exciting times ahead for our members and great opportunities to become Bees and Hornets of the future.’’
Michael Simmons added; “BIHC is very much looking forward to working closely with the Bracknell Bees. From my meeting with Doug the junior club, which includes the Hornets, will work very closely with the Bees. Doug’s commitment to develop and integrate junior players into the Bees is great to hear and there is a real strong pathway now from our ever-growing learn to play programme right through the junior age groups and into senior hockey at Bracknell with the Hornets and Bees. The junior club is really excited about what the future holds for ice hockey in Bracknell.”
Continue to follow both the Bees and junior club news feeds over the coming days as more exciting opportunities for young talent will be announced, and the junior club coaching line up will be released!