England Handball Association has announced Ricardo Vasconcelos as its new Head of Performance replacing Bobby White, who’s left to pursue a career in top-flight football coaching.
Ricardo, who moves across from his role as National Coaching and Workforce Development Manager, will take over the running of handball’s talent pathway in England.
The talent pathway provides a route from school competition to the senior international teams for young handballer players. Incorporating the Elite Performance Academy in Loughborough, Regional Academies and the National Academy Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE), it’s had great success over the years, something Ricardo said he will look to continue and build upon.
Ricardo, who is also Head Coach of the Great Britain’s Men’s team, said: “I’m delighted to take on this important role at EHA.
“It’s an exciting time rising stars in England, and I want to ensure we are harnessing the talent of the future in the very best way possible.”
The talent pathway is a key part of how young players are brought through the ranks in England with many going on to represent Great Britain on the international stage.
Ricardo joined EHA in 2013 as a Handball Development Officer for Nottinghamshire, but has since undertaken various roles in the organisation.
He said: “The whole point of the pathway is to create an effective and inclusive process supporting the development of our sport’s young players across the country.
“We want to identify and nurture players demonstrating fantastic potential to become national team players, while supporting the overall development of the individual athlete. That’s the case not only in the UK – where we want to grow the pathway – but, in time, extending it overseas, too.”
England Handball is holding an open day for its Elite Performance Academy on November 26 at Loughborough College. Submissions for expressions of interest are open here.
Ricardo’s appointment comes alongside the announcement that England Handball will hire three new Performance staff to support the Regional Academy Programme.