Posted by Badger on August 06, 1997 at 13:57:10:
Here are some snippets from an interesting article on the BIHA web-site.
"ISL's Board of Directors have for some time been developing ways to introduce a farm system of teams throughout the country where youngsters can be nurtured for positions within the professional clubs, when their strength, stamina and fitness is suitable for them to achieve regular full time employment in Superleague. Generally these teams will be owned and managed by the Superleague Clubs themselves, but in some cases players may be seconded to other National League teams through a commercial arrangement with their affiliate Superleague Club."
"ISL's committment to change goes even further than that, with an undertaking from all eight member clubs and from Leeds Lasers, who join Superleague in the 1998/99 season, to commit themselves to a first choice from players within the EU."
"To effect this the Clubs have agreed to hire two thirds of their players from the European Economic Area by the start of the 1997/98 season and by the beginning of the 2000/2001 at least one third of the players in each team must be eligible for GB duty. ISL will manage this process through its own secretariat, working with the DfEE to establish clear procedures from the outset."
"We would have liked to introduce our plans sooner but at this time there is a lack of senior GB qualifying talent in ice hockey. However, we are confident that within the next few years the increasing interest in the sport will ensure that we are provided with a broader base of suitable players enabling us to maintain the very high quality of play which has already generated so much interest from hockey playing nations across the world".
They say that this "will ensure continuity in the standard of play that followers of the sport have come to expect since the inception of the ISL only a year ago."
Hmmmm. I think it's going to take a bit longer than they think to get the numbers of GB players up to the level required.
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