England selection for talented Perse hockey player
Ethan Smythe (Year 11) has been rewarded for giving it some stick after being chosen for the England boys’ U16 hockey squad.
After several rounds of trials, Ethan has been selected to be part of a 28-strong group from which smaller national squads will be picked for different competitions and fixtures during 2024.
Ethan, who recently made his debut for Cambridge City’s men’s first XI in the England Hockey League, was pleased to have made the grade.
He said: “I was hopeful of being selected, but you can never expect something to happen, so I’m really happy about it.”
Ethan was spotted by England scouts while representing Cambridge Talent Academy at the England Hockey Talent Academy Festival in Nottingham in July.
Following his impressive performance, he went through three trials before the selectors made their final decision.
The talented midfielder said: “The selectors are looking for hockey ability and who has the potential to be the best, so it was quite nerve-racking.
“I knew if I wanted to get through, I’d have to do the best I could, and that was as much about being mentally prepared as physically prepared.
“I found out I had an England trial a month beforehand, so I did a lot of work, such as one and two-mile runs and hill sprints, week in, week out to make sure I was ready for the fitness tests.”
Ethan enjoyed the trial process and along the way made some new friends, who he is looking forward to meeting up with again at upcoming monthly England training camps.
Although he hopes to one day play for the full England team, Ethan said of his immediate ambitions: “I just want to play against different countries and different types of hockey to see how I compare.”