Two boys from the Upper School have recently been selected to train in the England Hockey player development programme.
Fourth Former Joshua Addo and Remove Former Joshua Stewart both demonstrated outstanding talent on the hockey pitch when they attended trials for the England Hockey Performance Centre back in June.
Aged just 14 years old, Joshua Stewart was delighted to be selected for the U17 squad – beating off competition from boys playing in two age groups above his own group. Joshua Addo, aged 13, will play for the U15s.
The boys are the latest in a long line of Bedford School boys who have been selected for this prestigious England Hockey programme, which will see them train alongside elite players from around the country.
The offer came shortly after the boys attended pre-trials at Northwood earlier this summer and they start the programme this month, training at Merchant Taylors’ School on Monday evenings and Sundays. The programme culminates with potential selection for the Futures Cup – the pinnacle of the England player pathway programme.
Director of Hockey, Mr Sam Mee, told us, “The boys are both very talented players and they know that hard work and commitment is what will give them the edge over the other players. Joshua Addo joined us this academic year and has settled in well. Joshua Stewart has been with us since the Prep School and has really put the hours in to his training over the years – particular so this last year. The fact that he will be competing against boys in Y11 and Y12 is testament to all his hard work.”
Joshua Stewart has had the fortune of playing with some superb players at school, which have no doubt inspired him along his journey. His older brother Tom also followed a similar path and last year Upper Sixth Former Charlie Axford captained the winning side at the Futures Cup. Joshua said, “I started playing hockey when I started at Bedford School in Y3. The coaches really pushed me on and my passion for the game grew. Even now the extra training sessions and the opportunities have given my game a massive boost.”