Forge student celebrates 2016 with international hockey recognition

A Cradley Heath student has had an incredible year by representing his sport, hockey, at the highest level.

Will Hall, aged 17 from Rowley Regis attends Ormiston Forge Academy and plays in the position of goalkeeper. He started the year by being selected to attend an Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) Academy run by England Hockey in conjunction with Loughborough College.

Will was also selected for assessment for the U18 NAGS (National Age Group Squads). NAGS represent England at U16, U18 and U21 level, these squads are one of highest honours a junior hockey player can attain. Based on observations and coaches feedback from the sessions, Will was invited to a development day with England Hockey.

Being part of the squad gave the lower sixth form student, who is currently studying A levels, access to high-performance coaching in team play, small unit play, set pieces, tournament play and individual technical coaching. In addition, Will was given advice and training in nutrition, injury management, lifestyle, psychology and anti-doping.

As part of the U18 Squad, Will attended the Sainsbury School Games, held at Loughborough University in September as well as the ‘Joint Regional Performance Centre’ trials, for a place in the Mercia regional team, to play at the Futures Cup competition. Based on his performances, Will was selected to play for Mercia Lynx, one of the four regional teams in the Hockey Futures Cup. This is the selection process for the full England U18 squad, which Will hopes to break into.

Will is widely considered as one of the top eight keepers in the country and during the cup competition played exceptionally well. He played four halves of hockey, instead of the usual three due to his team-mate suffering an injury. In those four halves, he saved every penalty corner directed at him (a rare achievement) and saved a penalty stroke – even rarer.

Principal at Ormiston Forge Academy, Andrew Burns, said: “We are all incredibly proud of Will and have done all we can to support him in his quest for academic and sporting excellence. Will has worked hard for this and his achievements at this young age show how committed and talented he is.

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