England call for teen hockey star

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A teenage hockey player is looking to follow in the footsteps of Team GB’s golden girls after winning selection for the England under 16 squad.

Rafa Brandao-Lee, a GCSE pupil at Grammar School at Leeds in Alwoodley, will join the training group after impressing at a series of weekend hockey camps. The 34 players will compete to appear in international junior tournaments next spring.

Rafa, from Harrogate, caught the eye of selectors while playing in the Futures Cup with the North of England representative side against the country’s top young talent.

The budding star plays her club hockey for Wakefield, where she already makes regular appearances for the senior 1st XI.

“The play at the Futures Cup was hard but fun, and it was good to play against new people at a really high standard. The highlight for our northern squad was a 4-0 win against Wales! I’m so excited to be selected to train with England U16s; I would love to play senior hockey for England one day and this gives me the chance of selection for my first international tournament – the European Cup next Easter.”

Rafa took up hockey at the age of 10, having previously been a keen footballer. She has appeared in GSAL’s teams who have reached the national finals in her age group for the past four years.

Team GB’s women’s side won gold at the Rio Olympics hockey tournament this summer following a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over the Dutch.

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