Playing for England
England Talent Pathway
The England Talent Pathway is for volleyball and beach volleyball and provides training and competition (national and international) opportunities in order to develop age group athletes. In volleyball there are two age groups: Cadet (U17) and Junior (U19). In beach volleyball there is one junior age group (U22).
England Talent Pathway athletes train all year round indoor or on the beach and are expected to be available for selection for international competitions.
Only athletes who are eligible to play for England can be part of the England Talent Pathway. This means athletes must be able to demonstrate their citizenship with a birth certificate or British passport.
How to join the Talent Pathway
Athletes usually get selected to join the England talent pathway at open trials. Volleyball open trials are held annually in late Autumn, Beach Volleyball Open Trials in March, usually at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering. Trialists get the opportunity to demonstrate their volleyball fundamentals and tactical awareness in game play and take a range of physical tests (spike reach, block reach, spike jump, block jump and anthropological measurements). All trialists receive the tests results which highlight their current physical profile. Non selected athletes will receive brief feedback that helps them understand why they have not successful. The national team coaches lead the selection process. Athletes and club coaches can nominate open trialists.
Only athletes approved by the head coach of the programme and Volleyball England Talent Team will be invited to a closed trial. Closed trials are for:
- Athletes who missed open trials because of major injury or in exceptional circumstances that have been agreed with the Volleyball England Talent team. They must be nominated by their club coach and/or regional coach.
- Athletes spotted by national team staff at volleyball events such as the Junior National Cup, Inter-regional Championships, UK Beach Volleyball Tour….
- Current cadet/junior athletes talent pathway athletes making the transition into year 2 or from cadet to juniors.
- Athletes must meet Volleyball England, CEV, & FIVB eligibility criteria relating to age and nationality.
- The perceived ability of the athletes to achieve the best results in the event/squad concerned in the selection decision.
- The athletes’ performance against the physical profile expected.
- The athletes’ performance against the technical, tactical and psychological expectations of the head coach.
- The perceived potential for development as individuals during the tenure of the programme.
- The athlete’s availability to prepare for and compete in planned competitions e.g. availability to attend national training camps as required.
- Injury/Wellbeing status and readiness for training and competition.
Beach Volleyball in addition to the above criteria
- A commitment to a solid beach training programme locally.
- Results in domestic and international competitions.
- The potential for athletes to train and play together to develop as a team out with national training camps.