HOT-SHOT Hallam Wilson has become the latest Basingstoke Bison junior player to be selected to play for the England under-16s.
This is a stepping stone to the Great Britain junior teams, with many of the English players going on to play for the Great Britain under-18 side at the World Championships.
The 15-year-old from Hatch Warren will make his England debut next month, when the side travel to Tilburg, in Holland, to play in an annual tournament.
Wilson, a pupil at Brighton Hill Comm-unity School, has come right through the Basingstoke system, having taken up the sport through Basingstoke’s Hockey Basics scheme, which is now called Let’s Play Hockey.
The teenager started skating at the age of three and played his first game as an under-10 a year later.
Wilson first played as a defenceman after his coach recognised his natural instinct to defend the netminder.
After three seasons on the blue line, he then moved to between the pipes as the under-10’s goalie.
However, one campaign in goal was enough for him to decide that he would rather play as a forward, which is where he has played ever since.
Last season, he was top goal scorer for the under-16 Bison, hitting the net 67 times in 17 league games.
Any young players looking to follow in Wilson’s footsteps can attend Let’s Play Hockey, which is run by Basingstoke Ice Hockey Junior Development Club for girls and boys aged between five and 16.
This is a chance to try ice hockey for the first time, improve skills or just have fun.
The sessions serve as a feeder into the Bison junior teams run by qualified English Ice Hockey Association coaches.
Players need their own skates, with helmets, sticks and gloves all provided.
The 13 to 16 group sessions are on a Monday evening (6.15pm to 7pm), while the five to 12 group takes place on Wednesday evening (6.15pm to 7pm).
Players are asked to arrive early to allow plenty of time to get kitted up and ready.