Hockey Albury-Wodonga has ramped up its focus on player development by conducting an academy program ahead of the 2019 season.
A number of senior players from the Spitfires men’s and women’s side have offered their time to assist the association’s youngsters.
The program commenced last Thursday and will run for a further six weeks.
HAW president Bert Eastoe said the Hockey Victoria directive is for associations to ramp up their recruitment and retention of players.
“We’re doing our best to get to every primary school in the region and invite them along to participate in the winter hockey competition,” Eastoe said.
“The academy is about improving the hockey skill sets and knowledge of players that have some experience and need to refine that.”
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Eastoe highlighted the impact of having the Spitfires players on board.
“It’s important to show the pathways and build a relationship,” he said.
“During the year, we want to have juniors come along and support them (the Spitfires) and also help out as ball boys and ball girls to again experience what it is to play at that higher level.
“We’re trying to bolster the clubs’ capability and capacity by running programs for umpires and coaches in the coming weeks to improve the game experience.
“We also want to hit the mark in terms of making sure the facilities and the player experience is positive.”
Academy sessions continue at Albury Hockey Centre at 5.30pm on Thursday.
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