Perse hockey player scores goal for England

Ethan Smythe (Year 11) had the thrill of scoring a goal after making his first international appearance for the England boys’ U16 hockey team.

He played in two of the three matches England played in their series with Ireland at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, bouncing back from an injury on his debut – a 2-2 draw – by hitting the back of the net in an emphatic 7-1 victory in the final game.

As an attacking midfielder, Ethan, who was named in the national squad following several trials, was delighted to grab a goal for his country.

Ethan said: “I saw my opportunity and just went on a run. I dribbled towards goal, went past a couple of players, and hit it into the net to make it 3-0.

“I was also pleased to get an assist two goals later, but scoring a goal was really cool, especially after getting injured in the first game.

“I got a stick to the head and had to go to hospital to get some stitches, but I came back the next day and got back into training.

“It was just such a nice feeling to play for England and I’m really proud to have done it.”

Ethan had had a number of training sessions with his England colleagues prior to the Ireland series at either Lilleshall or Bisham Abbey.

However, he enjoyed being able to spend extra time with his coaches and team-mates and put what they had worked on into practice.

He said: “It was a very professional environment. We had to have meetings and debriefs and watch video footage of the matches at the end of each day.

“It gave me a really good idea of what it’s like to be playing at the top level for your age and you cannot afford to give anything less than 100 per cent.”

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