SLOUGH JETS have announced that junior head coach Ben Pitchley will be leaving the club.

Pitchley joined the Jets four years ago and has made their Junior Jets Academy a place players want to sign and learn skills to their full potential.

During his tenure as head coach, the club has seen many now successful senior players pass through. Pitchley has also overseen a lot of success having players selected for the conference programmes, England teams and Great Britain junior programmes.

Pitchley, who is also the South East Mentor Coach, is a high quality, respected coach who has put in place a strong team of dedicated coaches and a good pathway for them to follow.

He has instilled into the players he has coached, not only the on ice skills they will need, but the other attributes that go to make up a good hockey player.

Speaking on his decision to leave, Pitchley said; “I’m sad to be leaving Slough but, as most of you will be aware, I’ve made it no secret that I would be going back to the new rink in Romford, when it opens, to run the hockey programme there.

“With the new rink opening in February 2018, there are a lot of things that I need to get in place, whilst also assisting with the transition for the senior programme to come back into the new rink in Romford.

“For this to happen, I need to make sure I can give it my total focus, so have made the decision to step away from the Slough programme.”

He continued; “I have had four fantastic years at this club, and have helped shape a lot of hockey players during this time.

“I would like to thank Zoran and Ghisilane for bringing me into this club and allowing me to run their junior programme as I felt it needed to be run.

“Behind every club, there’s a tireless person, that does all they can to help make the club a success and keep things ticking over.

Slough has Steve English, and it’s been a pleasure working alongside him for the past four years.

“He truly has the club’s best interests at heart and is a calming influence when all the madness is flying around the place. I will miss the 6am phone calls, panicking about coaches for training sessions, or games being moved around.”

Slough general manager Steve English said; “We always knew the time would come when Ben would leave us to head home, but that doesn’t mean it’s not sad now it’s come round.

"The Junior Programme at Slough has gone from strength to strength under Ben’s leadership.

"He’s helped not only the juniors but also the coaches and managers making Slough’s junior club an all-round better place.”

“I’m sad that we’re losing Ben. For the club he’s been a great head coach. For me he’s been not only a great colleague and driving force for the club, but also we’ve become great friends.

"I know filling this vacancy for the club will be a tough ask.”

Pitchley concluded: “My last day at Slough will be May 24 and I would like to say goodbyes to as many people that can get there for this session, both players and parents.”

The Slough Jets search for a new head of their Junior Academy is already underway.