Alex Malzer, 15, has been picked for the under-16s to represent her country after a gruelling selection process.
The Ardingly College pupil plays for Horsham ladies in Division 1 of the South League as well as the club’s under-16 team.
Her selection process has involved stepping up from county to regional level and through the Tonbridge Tigers and Saxon Tigers teams.
From there she was spotted by England selectors and after a series of training camps made the final squad.
Proud mother Sarah said: “She has done so well. To be one of the top 22 girls in the country, I just think it is amazing. She has got all the England kit now which has made it all really real. She has to wear it now as part of the training as well.
“When we came home in it, I brought another girl back, and we stopped at the services and everyone was looking at them, almost like celebrities.
“I just think she has done amazingly well. The competition was fierce to get that far and she is still very young in the year. She has done extremely well.”
Malzer’s England debut will be at Easter when they take on Holland, ahead of further matches against Scotland and Ulster and Germany.
She said: “I thought the training process was really hard but realise the hard work was all worth it. I have enjoyed it all so much, met many new friends but can’t believe I have got this far.
“It feels unreal to be in the England under-16 squad but I am excited at the prospect of playing for my country.”
The year culminates with the prestigious Six Nations tournament in July.
The selection process starts off playing county-level hockey, where players are then nominated to go onto regional level where they play cluster competitions. Malzer, whose twin sister Isabel also plays regional-level hockey, captained south east side the Tonbridge Tigers, before stepping up to the south of England Saxons Tigers.
She was vice captain of that side, who play against other teams from across the county at the Futures Cup where they won all three matches in the competition.
England selectors were present and invited her up to Lilleshall for a gruelling selection process which ran from November.
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