Pendle Forest’s Freya Bythe;; has been selected for the England Hockey Under 18 National Age Group squad, following her performances at the Futures Cup with Pennine Pumas.
Last weekend, the 17-year-old reached the pinnacle of England Hockey’s Single System, playing for the Pumas, who represent the North of England, at Oaklands College, St Albans.
That was the culmination of four gruelling years in the system – while playing every Saturday in the Pendle Forest first team as they won back to back promotions to the North Premier League.
And she will now be invited to attend one or both camps to take place in September and October, before training squads are established.
Freya was in action on Tuesday night as Forest kicked-off their pre-season with an outstanding performance against national league outfit Fylde Hockey Club.
Forest travelled to the impressive set up at Mill Farm, just outside Kirkham, to pit their wits against old foes Fylde, who currently play their trade one division above the locals in National North Conference.
Forest dominated the first quarter, with Lisa Crewe and Charlotte Hartley combining to go close, before the same combination resulted in Hartley taking on the Fylde goalkeeper to put Forest 1-0 up.
Freya Bythell also went close in the first quarter, drawing a good save.
Fylde came out stronger in the second quarter, though they rarely troubled the Forest goal, and Forest were still creating chances, with Hartley’s pace and skill.
The third quarter was a midfield battle, with few chances, but Fylde were awarded a short corner, which they tucked away to level the game.
At the start of the last quarter Forest quickly conceded two goals to go 3-1 down.
Forest did not give up, and Hartley, Karen Wignall and Freya Bythell could have pulled goals backj, but just couldn’t find the net, as Forest went down to defeat in an encouraging display.
Forest continue with their pre season away against Ben Rhydding on Saturday.