The Men’s Winter Classic Tournament gets underway this weekend in Manchester and will see the best players in the country come together over the next two weekends to play a series of matches aimed at increasing the amount of high-level competition at elite level.
The tournament team rosters will be made up from groups of players aged 16 and above from across the Talent Pathway. Participants have been invited from the U17 Pathway, the England U19 Squad, England Development Squad and the full England Men’s Senior Squad.
Players will be split across four equal-strength teams and will play a series of games over both weekends culminating in finals on the last afternoon.
Platt Lane Sports Complex in Manchester will play host to the Winter Classic with the site established as the home base and training facility for the Team England Men’s squad.
Another first will see England management use a major elite-level domestic tournament as a trial for the Team England Senior squad with The Men’s Winter Classic incorporating the trials for the 2018 World Championship team, also taking place in Manchester.
Tom Wenham, England Men’s Senior Head Coach, commented: “This year’s England Men’s Winter Classic will be the trial process for the selection of the 2018 World Championships squad.
“England coaches will attend throughout the weekend with both the World Championships and the Development Squad teams being announced after the tournament. This gives the coaches a fantastic opportunity to watch and assess players while they compete for places playing in an elite-level tournament.”
Jane Powell, National Talent Development Manager, added:
“I am delighted to see our Men’s programme getting together the best 90 players who are in contention for England selection.
“This tournament will afford us the opportunity to see all the players together both home-based and overseas, young and old and we will have the perfect opportunity to see who will stand out as a potential player for 2018.”