Hockey starlet heading Down Under

Robert Farrington. SPORTSBEAT.

Robert Farrington. SPORTSBEAT.

First published in Sport

By Ben Baker, Sportsbeat

BROMLEY hockey ace Robert Farrington will step into the unknown with Great Britain in the New Year and admits he can’t wait to get going.

The 18-year-old was already set to toast to a job well done in 2012 after successfully being chosen to make the step up from England U18s to the U21s this summer.

But the good times continue to roll for Farrington as he has been named in Great Britain’s squad heading to Sydney for January’s Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

This means he will be strutting his stuff on the same hockey pitches where the Sydney Olympics took place back in 2000.

Having never competed outside of Europe before, the former Bromley & Beckenham Hockey Club starlet couldn’t be further away from home.

But Farrington insists there is no trepidation ahead of his trip Down Under, only excitement.

He explained: “I was delighted when I found that I had got the call up.

“When we were first named it was hard because we weren’t allowed to tell anyone but all I wanted to do was shout it out.

“I had always hoped that I would be called up to the squad but I was never certain because there were so many talented players looking to go.

“But I have been working quite hard to get there and it was very pleasing to make the step up from the U18s to the U21s this year already and this just adds to it.

“This is my first year in the U21 programme so I haven’t played any games yet but being called up to Team GB will give me a huge confidence boost towards that next year.

“It is nice to part of Team GB for the first time, especially after the Olympics and hopefully we can follow in their footsteps and continue with some of their success.

“I have never played outside of Europe before and that will be quite a challenge to adjust to a different style of hockey but on I am really looking forward to.”

Farrington’s rapid rise through the ranks is made all the impressive considering this is the first season he has had to juggle his sporting commitments with his studies having gone to Loughborough University to human biology.

But having taken this in his stride the Loughborough Students ace is confident he can do the same as he dons a Team GB vest for the first time.

“Having gone to study in Loughborough this year I have been playing in the Premier League for the first time and that has been a bit of a big step up in terms of standards,” he added.

“But I have been doing some more fitness work and strength and conditioning stuff and it has been OK and a good experience.

“It will be a bit different playing with not just guys from England but also two from Scotland and one from Wales but I am sure we can gel quite quickly.”

Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 346 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond.

Since 2008, the programme has supported 1,000 athletes.

Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydstsblocalheroes

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