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Hockey player targets England U21 cap
4:46pm Tuesday 31st July 2012 in Sport
By Ryan Walters
BROMLEY hockey starlet Robert Farrington can’t wait to challenge for a place in England’s U21 side after a stellar final season for school, club and country.
The 18-year-old helped Bromley & Beckenham Hockey Club avoid the drop in a relegation play-off in what was his last outing before he takes a place at Loughborough University in September.
And in equally dramatic fashion, Farrington captained Whitgift School to two national titles as they won the England hockey national schools championship and retained the national U18 indoor title.
But emerging victorious in test series against Belgium, Ireland and Germany was the highlight of the season for Farrington, who has already re-focused his energies on preparing for the 2013 schedule.
“The three tests against Belgium, Ireland and Germany were fantastic and beating the Germans in their own back yard had not been done for ten or so years,” said the teenage star, who benefits from being a member of the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes programme.
“I just finished my club season and although we struggled during the year we were in a relegation play-off and managed to win so it was a nice farewell to help keep them up.
“Winning two national competitions in my last year with Whitgift was great and now as I move up a step in class it will help develop me in a continual cycle of improvement.
“Going to Loughborough and looking to play for the university will be that step up, and I will be in the Premier Division and playing with better players which will bring out more from me.”
Having ended affiliations with all three clubs Farrington plans to start a new chapter with Loughborough Students and has aspirations of competing in the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival.
At just 18 he knows stepping into an older age group will push him to improve as a player with the ultimate aim of one day performing for Great Britain in an Olympic Games.
And having acquired tickets to see the current crop of stars compete for a gold medal, Farrington is as motivated as ever to force his way into the England starting line up.
“Towards the end of the season I was training with the U21 side but I was just on the fringe and didn’t quite force my way in,” said Farrington.
“Compared to the other guys I know I need to work on my athleticism and speed, and my general basics will improve as the facilities and training and standard improves at Loughborough.
“Hopefully the side will do well in Australia and having spent more and more time together we have improved with a more professional attitude towards the game.
“To represent Great Britain at the Olympics is the ultimate goal and having been to the test event and experience the crowd I want to someday be performing in front of thousands of people.”
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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