South Kirkby shot-stopper handed England honour

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A SOUTH Kirkby shot-stopper has been handed the honour of representing his country at an international football tournament in Switzerland this summer.

Kyle Hill, 19, has been selected as part of a 15-man squad for the 11-a-side England Mencap team that will take part in the European Mencap Championships in Geneva in June.

The young goalkeeper plays for Pontefract Pirates, a team for people with learning difficulties, which is part of Pontefract Collieries.

And his top form between the sticks will see him jet off with the rest of the England Mencap squad to the annual tournament.

“It’s the first time Kyle has been selected for England and it’s a great honour for him,” said his mum Michelle.

“He can’t wait to play for his country. He was really pleased to come through the trials to make the squad earlier this year and now he’s really looking forward to playing, everyone is really pleased for him.”

The South Kirkby ace had to travel down to Warwick University for trials in February and came through as one of fifteen players to be successful in selection.

He was one of four Pirates players that were selected for the trials, but was the only one to make the final squad.

His success follows on from last year’s selection of Pontefract teammate Gary Hope, 26, who helped England to a bronze medal finish in last year’s tournament.

But Kyle will be keen to go even better in this year’s competition as England aim to sweep aside their European opposition to become champions.

The goalkeeper will meet up with the rest of the England squad at a weekend training camp in Wales later this month.

The squad will meet for the first time to train and gel ahead of their big trip to Switzerland.

In the meantime Kyle will continue to feature for the Pirates in their West Riding County FA Ability Counts League campaign until the end of the domestic season.

He trains with the squad every Saturday morning at Pontefract Collieries’ Beechnut Lane base and will no doubt be stepping up the intensity ahead of his busy summer schedule.

The European Mencap Championships starts on Thursday, June 9 and finishes on Monday, June 13.

See today’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.