The Scottish Hockey Union has confirmed a new look coaching line up for its U21 squads with Dave Stott taking charge of the women’s team and Scotland’s newest coach Craig Parnham leading the men.
Parnham, who has captained both Great Britain and England, brings the benefit of very recent top level playing experience to the men’s game. As the newly appointed High Performance Hockey coach for the West of Scotland Institute of Sport Parnham will be able to draw on his extensive playing and coaching experience to help to build his young team.
"This is an exciting squad to work with and shows great potential," Parham said.
With no World Cup action for the men this year Parnham is viewing this as an opportunity to plan for the future.
"I’m looking at this as very much a development year for the squad with our focus being Europe in 2006. Our target then will be to regain A Division status."
Dave Stott, the previous U21 men’s coach, takes over the reigns of the women’s squad. Stott, who is the East of Scotland Institute of Sport High Performance Coach, has a wealth of coaching experience within the Scottish national set up. He was assistant senior women’s coach to Mike Gilbert during two World Cup campaigns and then stepped up to the head coach position with the U21 men’s team, taking them to the Junior World Cup in Tasmania in 2001.
"The previous management team who supported the junior women’s programme over the last four years has been very successful and it is my intention to implement a continuation programme with their support," Stott said.
For Stott that programme will initially be tailored to his squad’s Junior World Cup campaign in September. This is the first time Scotland’s Junior women have featured in the tournament since 1993.
"This year’s World Cup in Chile (Santiago) is a fantastic stage to play on and for many of the players an opportunity to experience various styles of hockey they may never have encountered before," he said.
"We want to use this as a development stepping stone for next year’s European Cup. With a number of last year’s squad members moving up to senior level we are in the midst of a development cycle and I believe this competition will give the new squad the experience, focus and direction that will allow us to compete in the top four on the European circuit."
SHU Performance Manager Brent Deans was enthusiastic about the new coaching structure.
"With some exciting new talent coming through, I believe that our U21 squads have a great opportunity to develop with these full time coaches in place," he said.
"Keith Joss and his team had terrific success with the women’s squad and I have every confidence that Dave Stott will be able to build on that and take the team to the next level. The men’s team have different challenges ahead of them this year. I am looking forward to watching them develop under the new structure lead by Craig and seeing them regain their place on the European stage."
The full management team line ups for both squads will be confirmed in the next couple of weeks.
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