Oli Thomas Celebrates England Hockey Call Up
Princethorpe College Year 11, Oli Thomas, made his England Hockey debut when he played for the winning U16 team in a match against Ireland at the Lilleshall Hall National Sports Centre on Thursday 21 February.
As well as playing for the College Oli also plays club hockey at Hampton-In-Arden and is on the England Hockey player pathway. He trains with the England Squad and supplements that with training at the South Midlands Regional Performance Centre.
Back in the summer last year, Oli played in the Mercia Lynx team in the England Hockey Futures Cup, a high intensity tournament that is an important part of the England National Age Groups selection process, and he was delighted to subsequently be selected for the National U16 Boys’ Squad.
Oli said, “The Futures Cup tournament was incredible, three challenging matches plus training sessions and workshops all in four days. We even had the chance to meet players from the GB team. It was fantastic to win but then even better to find out that I had made it into the England squad.”
Since then Oli has attended monthly national training camps before making his successful debut in the amazing 3-2 win against Ireland. He is looking forward to possible matches against Germany, Scotland and Holland, and to travelling to Belgium to play with the squad. At the end of the season he hopes to play in the Home Nations Tournament.
Proud Princethorpe Hockey coach, Paul Whitehead, was delighted to be invited to watch Oli play at Lilleshall. He commented, “Oli’s speed and precision are what makes him special, we are delighted to support him in his hockey ambitions and of course to have him play in the College’s 1st XI.”
Unfazed by the demands of GCSE studies, Oli believes that organisation and focus are the key to his success. Adding, “It can be tough juggling my studies alongside hockey but if you are determined and work hard you can achieve anything.”