Monday 29 January 2024

Wild Academy’s Caleb With England U12s

Caleb Eddleston on England duty in Slovakia - Photo by England PO12 Staff

Widnes Wild Academy player Caleb Eddleston has been on England duty with an Under 12 select team, on a week’s trip to Slovakia. 

Caleb was put forward for the PO12 (Power Of 12) England National Team Program (ENTP) by the Widnes Wild Academy head coach Mike Gilbert after a very successful 2022/23 season with the Under 12 and Under 14 teams where he put up a combined 85 points for the Academy and finished 5th in the overall points standings for U14’s Division 2 at the age of 10/11. 

He was successful with the PO12 AAA team after a 4-stage trial and flew out with the squad, taking part in multiple games and training sessions whilst in Trencin, Slovakia. 

Staying in the Marian Gaborik Hotel which has its own fitness centre and ice rink attached gave the young squad their first taste of a professional set-up and the physical demands needed to represent their country at the highest level possible for U12s. 

The England squad played local teams and won all of their games against Slovakian competition. Caleb provided a number of points (goals and assists) over the course of the week and scored a hat trick in one of the games. The opposition was provided by Dukla Trencin 12 & 13, HK 95 Panthers Povazska Bystrica, and K&B Stars who are a select team based in Slovakia. 

An optional skate with coach Peter Bohunicky from the NHL Florida Panthers to focus on skating, was also taken up by many of the players who attended the PO12 showing their commitment to their passion for the game. 

When asked about his week away with the PO12, Caleb commented: “It was fun and I enjoyed it. The opposition teams were strong, but we passed the puck around well and scored on our opportunities. I enjoyed every second of the trip and want to do more”

Caleb next flies out to Riga, Latvia in April to represent the Elite British Selects (2012 AAA) in the 2024 Riga Hockey Cup.

(Text by Gary Eddleston)