This is a fantastic announcement as it assures the AIHL has a genuine future with a stream of players coming up through the ranks.
Let us know below what you think?
Ice Hockey Australia’s annoucement details are as follows:
After months of meetings and discussions, Ice Hockey Australia (IHA) is elated to announce the formation and commencement of Australia’s first national junior ice hockey league. The league is named as the Australian Junior Ice Hockey League
(AJIHL) and will operate under the direct sanction of IHA.In the first stage of the league’s evolution, four teams comprising of two teams each from Ice Hockey New South Wales (IHNSW) and Ice Hockey Victoria (IHV) will compete over nine double header rounds starting with the historical inaugural League Launch on the 20 & 21 October 2012 and ending with the AJIHL Finals on the 09 & 10 March 2013 at the Ice House in Melbourne. Plans are already underway to include two more teams from Ice Hockey Western Australia (IHWA) for the 2013/14 season. This has also increased interest from the other three member state associations.
It is IHA‘s vision that the AJIHL will be the showcase for all aspiring national U18 youth team, U20 junior team and AIHL players, and which will add the much needed strength to IHA’s National Junior Development Program. In addition to furthering the development Australia’s 20 to 16 year junior ice hockey players, the AJIHL will undoubtedly further the development of and better prepare Australia’s junior players for selection to the nine Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) senior men’s teams. It is this objective that will lead to raising Australia’s ranking on the world ice hockey stage.
In recognition of this historical event, the AJIHL Champions Trophy has been donated by the OiHAN (Old-timers Ice Hockey Australia Network), an IHA member organisation who has a number of former national and state team member’s grandsons playing in the league. This is a fitting tribute to these former “greats” who have remained in and assisted the sport for many years, including representing their state and Australia on numerous occasions.
Team tryouts have been confirmed for the next two weeks in Sydney and Melbourne and have attracted keen interest from their junior hopefuls. The AJIHL games schedule and league statistics can be followed on IHA’s website at www.iha.org.au.