ENGLAND junior Matthew Ramshaw is being tipped to be an international hockey star.

The 17-year-old is already the youngest member of the Great Britain under-23 squad and has recently collected two top awards.

He was named the Hockey Writers’ Association Young Player of the Year and also won the Higgins Trust Award which goes to the most promising young international player.

Ramshaw, who played his early hockey with Airedale before playing at junior and senior level for Ben Rhydding, currently plays for Loughborough University in the National Conference North and is their top scorer

The former Ermysted’s pupil, who won a scholarship to Oakham School where he now studies, attended a warm weather training camp in Lisbon earlier this year with the under-23 squad.

One person who has no doubts about the heights that Ramshaw can hit is Ben Rhydding men’s coach Demy Dowley who is the Talent Development Lead Coach for England Hockey.

In her job she monitors the progress of every young player at England and Great Britain level and she has seen special qualities in Ramshaw.

She said: “I have seen Rammy coming through all the different age group and he is certainly a player to watch. He is a great competitor who simply loves winning and that can rub off on other players.

“He has bags of confidence in his ability, but he isn’t arrogant in anyway. He is a thoroughly pleasant young man who is always prepared to listen and learn.”

Dowley has seen many young players come through the ranks so what has she seen in Ramshaw that makes her have so much belief in his ability?

“I am a realist,” she insists. “I have seen many young players come through with ambitions of playing at the top level.

“Many of them never quite make it, but provided Rammy can stray clear of injury I believe he can become a top international player.

“I don’t say that lightly. The Tokio Olympics are probably too soon for him as the training squad has already been picked and preparations have begun.

“Paris in 2024 is more realistic and when he makes the Great Britain side I am sure he will make a big impact on the world stage.

“I truly believe that he can go all the way and make it as one of the top players.”

Before any Olympic dreams there’s the reality of A Level exams to negotiate this summer.

He hopes to win a place at Loughborough University where he will be able to continue his studies while honing his considerable hockey talent.

There’s no doubt there will be many people at Ben Rhydding Hockey Club watching his progress with interest.

As he continues to make his mark it is a reward for the hard work of the coaches at the Ilkley-based club who helped set him on the path to international honours.