England training squad call-up for Perse hockey player
Elliott Kirkpatrick (Year 11) is determined to stick with it after being selected for the England boys’ U16 hockey training squad.
Following a series of trials, Elliott has been chosen to be part of a 28-player training group, which will be whittled down to a final 18-strong squad to represent England next year.
Elliott, who also plays for Cambridge City, was thrilled to discover he had made it into the England training squad.
He said: “It’s amazing. When I first got the email, I’d thought there was another trial, but then I saw the England Hockey Twitter post, checked the email again and thought ‘wow, I’m actually in the squad!”
Elliott began his journey by playing age-group hockey for Cambridgeshire several years ago before progressing to the East Anglia Regional Performance Centre (PC) at Bury St Edmunds.
He went on to captain the Bury team to an impressive third place in the boys’ U15 competition at the PC Challenge Cup in Nottingham in July.
“There were England scouts at the tournament and I got invited to the NAGS (National Age Group Selection) trials from that,” said Elliott.
“For the first trial I was really nervous. I didn’t know anyone there as I was the only player from Bury, whereas other people had friends from their clubs or PCs, but the coaches really helped with getting everyone to know each other. We played in different groups, so it was really good.”
Elliott, who can play across defence and midfield, is looking forward to meeting up with the England training squad for the first time just before Christmas and hopes to catch the eye of the selectors to make the final cut.
He added: “In the England sign-up sheet, you had to give your aspiration and I put playing for Team GB at the Olympics and winning, so that’s the ultimate goal.
“Currently though, it’s just getting into the England age group team, playing against some different countries and hopefully progressing through.”