Talented skater Josh aims high after being scouted to represent Midlands Under 11s - The Solihull Observer
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8th Aug, 2022

Talented skater Josh aims high after being scouted to represent Midlands Under 11s

A RISING ice hockey star has set himself high ambitions for the future after being scouted to ice for the Midlands Under 11s roster.

Josh Dowds has been skating almost as long as he’s been able to walk, and is now ready for his next big step to realise his dream of playing ice hockey professionally.

The ten-year-old has been selected to ice for the Midlands team after impressing at a series of trials, which took place after the youngster played one of his weekly games for the Solihull Under 11s team.

Based in Sutton Coldfield, Josh and his father Deion regularly make the trip to Solihull’s ice rink to practice and play – and the pair are now receiving the fruits of their labour as Josh prepares for his biggest season to date.

The Mere Green Primary School student will travel to Tilburg in the Netherlands next summer while continuing to skate at Under 11 and Under 13s level for Solihull.

Speaking to The Observer, Josh said the Midlands Under 11s team will play other conference teams next season – meaning he’ll gain valuable experience against some of the country’s top players.

He said: “My dad Deion plays for Solihull Vikings and I’ve always enjoyed hockey since I was small.

“It’s a sport that’s hard, fast and requires plenty of skill – I learnt to skate by going to figure skating lessons when I was four, I didn’t like it but it all paid off in the end.

The defenceman is a strong believer that the best offensive play is created by good defensive work – and his decision to skate at the back came after proving a natural at skating backwards.

He added: “Making the team has been a really hard process and I’ve been tired at times as trials take place really late at night after I’ve been playing games for my club.

“I’m happy to make the team this year as 12 months ago I missed out and only got through to the final trial.

“At the time I was a bit sad but it only made me work harder to try this year, and now I’m delighted.

“I want to represent my country and play hockey professionally.

“My goal is to go to Canada or America to play hockey at college and then play professionally.

“I love the Detroit Red Wings and take inspiration from the club’s former skater Niklas Lidstrom.”

Skating at such a high level though comes with its sacrifices, and Josh was quick to applaud his parents for their support throughout his already positive hockey career.

Earlier this year, the youngster travelled to Slovakia for an intense hockey training camp in Okanagan.

He said: “My mum and dad have been great, they’ve believed in me throughout my short career so far and my coaches have been a big help too.

“I play with two age groups so I train two hours each week, but in general I would love to see ice hockey become a bigger sport and get more recognition.”

Josh’s dad Deion, who plays hockey for Solihull Vikings, said: “Josh has achieved something great, he always listens to his coaches and gives his best.

“He is an example for younger and upcoming players that hard work pays off.

“He has a very mature attitude towards his hockey and plays the game strategically above his age.

“I think with his speed attitude and positioning he will hopefully go on to improve even further and achieve his dreams, we are so proud of him.”

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