Higgins youth and junior awards winners announced

Awards to presented at gala lunch in London
Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018
Hannah Griggs

Higgins youth winner Hannah Griggs

The recipients of the Hockey Writers’ Club Higgins Group youth and junior awards for 2017 have been chosen with the presentations to be made at the annual awards presentation lunch on Wednesday January 24, 2018 at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knightsbridge, London.

Mr Richard Higgins, Chairman of the Higgins Group plc, will present the awards. The UK players of the year for 2017 will also be announced at the lunch.

The judging panel sought information from coaches, clubs and schools, with the judges considering not just hockey ability but players’ personal qualities and potential for future development.

Past winners of Higgins awards include Rio Olympic Games gold medalists Maddie Hinch and Sophie Bray. 


Youth, Girls 18 and under – Hannah Griggs (Kent College and Canterbury HC);

Youth, Boys 18 and under – Matthew Ramshaw (Oakham School and Loughborough Students HC)

Junior, Girls 16 and under – Maddie Goodman (Sandbach High School and Bowdon HC);

Junior, Boys 16 and under – Xavier Teyletche (Repton School and Repton HC);


Youth, Girls 18 and under –  Hannah Griggs gained 15 caps at England U18 level during 2017, a season in which she also captained the international side during some matches. She began hockey at Canterbury Hockey Club, aged eight, where she went on to make her Investec Women’s Hockey League premier division debut on her 16th birthday, a game where she also scored. Hannah has also represented the club in European competition. She was named Canterbury Ladies Hockey Club’s most promising junior player, 2017. This season she has captained the 1st X1 team at Kent College. At her club she has organised a school-holiday coaching programme for juniors and has coached some of the sessions.  She has also undertaken hockey, athletics, tennis and cricket coaching at her former junior school.

Higgins youth winner Matthew Ramshaw

Higgins youth winner Matthew Ramshaw

Youth, Boys 18 and under – Matthew Ramshaw earned recognition at England U21 squad level during 2017, when he was also part of the England U18 squad for the summer Six Nations tournament. During the year he was also selected for the prestigious Great Britain Men's Elite Development Programme – a programme designed for turning promising young players into future Olympians. He already has experience at the highest level of domestic hockey, playing in the England Men’s Hockey League premier division with Loughborough Students. This season he already has five goals in the league’s Conference North. Matthew is first XI hockey captain at Oakham School, where he impresses not just with his competitive spirit and hockey ability on the pitch, but also his willingness to work with and encourage other players at the school. He also sets an inspiring example with his dedication to training and the gym.  Matthew’s hockey career began at Airedale Hockey Club (Saltaire, West Yorkshire). He has also played for Ben Rhydding.

Junior, Girls 16 and under – Maddie Goodman reached England U16 training-squad level during 2017. She thrives on all physical challenges, representing her school, Sandbach High School, in a number of sports, and gaining county selection in cricket and athletics. In the 2016/17 hockey season, Maddie won the Cheshire Hockey League player of the year award, with Triton Hockey Club, while still only 14 years old. In 2017 she joined Bowdon Hightown where, just three days after her 15th birthday, she scored her first goal for the first team in a friendly match.  She plays regularly for the club’s 2nd XI and balances school work, with an average of four trips to Manchester each week for training and matches. This is on top of her athletics training and her involvement in school activities such as coaching and umpiring. 

Junior, Boys 16 and under – Xavier Teyletche is currently a student at Repton School where he plays for the first XI, is Captain of the u16 teams and part of the England U16 training squad. In 2016/17 he was selected a year early for the England U16 training squad, and also earned his first caps. As a hockey player, he is notable both for his performances on the pitch – where his skills and tactical aptitude make him stand out – as well as his dedication to training and developing his hockey. Xavier also currently plays for Repton men’s 1st XI in the Midlands Regional Hockey League and is part of the Midlands Performance Centre set-up.

Xavier started playing hockey at the age of 4 at Surbiton HC under the tutelage of family friend Brett Garrard and others such as Matt Daly, James Tindall and Nigel D’Cruz. A late developer, Xavier has never been able to count on physical strength or speed to play hockey and so has had to rely more on quick hands and speed of thought to allow him to compete with his peers. Aged 13, he was captain of the Whitgift U16 indoor team that won the 2016 national finals as well as the U14 national outdoor finals that same year. At the same time, he moved up through Surrey county and regional selection with Tonbridge Tigers.

A year later he won the u16 indoor title yet again, this time in the colours of his new school Repton and was a runner-up in the club u16 final for Repton HC.

These youth and junior awards are sponsored by the Higgins Group plc.

Roll of Honour

UK YOUTH AND JUNIOR AWARDS sponsored by Higgins

2004 Rebecca Herbert; Darren Cheesman

2005 Nikki Kidd; Ashley Jackson

2006 Maddie Hinch; Dan Barstow

2007 Sophie Bray; Liam Doidge

2008 Alice Sharp; Ben Arnold

2009 Sarah Haycroft; David Condon

2010 Alice Sharp; Andy Bull and Harry Martin


From 2011 onwards the Higgins sponsorship was increased to allow a Junior (16-and-under Award to be added.)



(Age 18-and-Under)

2011 Martha Baker; Joe Sharp

2012 Emily Defroand; Luke Taylor

2013 Rebekah Walker; Chris Proctor

2014 Holly Hunt; Liam Sanford

2015 Charlotte Calnan; Toby Reynolds-Cotterill

2016 Kate Axford; Tim Nurse

2017 Hannah Griggs; Matthew Ramshaw



(Age 16-and-Under)

2011 Joanna Leigh; James Albery

2012 Charlotte Daly; Conor Caplan

2013 Alice Wills; Jack Turner

2014 Lizzie Neal; Jack Whelan

2015 Ellie de Heer; Josh Pavis

2016 Darcy Bourne; Alex Pendle

2017 Maddie Goodman; Xavier Teyletche