Bury St Edmunds’ Alex Blumfield has been selected for the Men’s GB Elite Development Programme (EDP) in hockey, following his part in the U21 squad winning silver at the Sultan of Johor Cup.
The 19-year-old, who began his playing career at Bury St Edmunds Hockey Club, has enjoyed a steady rise in the sport so far.
Blumfield, a former pupil of Culford School who now studies at Nottingham Trent University, will be one of 35 players who are being targeted as future Olympians.
The GB EDP has been launched as part of a strategic objective during the Tokyo 2020 cycle with the aim of developing medal winning Olympians of the future.
The selected athletes having shown their potential to achieve this aim in the years to come, during a comprehensive selection process.
While the programme is not age categorized, it has been designed for athletes aged between 19 and 23.
He is one of several members of the Great Britain U21 side that won silver at the Sultan of Johor Cup last month to have been selected, including the team’s captain Jack Waller and top scorer Duncan Scott.
The GB EDP will also see a revised coaching structure that will see world-class coaches leading the activity as well as spending time engaging and supporting the domestic and university game.
Jon Bleby has, at the same time, been announced as the head coach of the Men’s GB EDP.
The budding stars will now attend various training camps and days at Bisham Abbey and Lilleshall as well as spending time at a Warm Weather Training camp in Lisbon in January.
They are also likely to play a number of games in the build up to the U21 Junior World Cup in Belgium next July.
Mum Deborah Blumfield said: “Alex has been playing hockey since he was five and has developed his skills and fitness through hard work over 14 years to achieve this tremendous selection.
“As a family we are really proud of his success following on from the silver medal at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia last month and the U18’s European finals in Cork in August 2016.
“My days of “mum’s taxi service” are no longer required — I’m now having to invest in overseas flights to follow his career and support him from the sidelines.
“The roads to the Tokyo and Paris Olympics lie ahead so we will wait and see what happens over the next few years.”