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Ex-Ballard student Tim Nurse makes his England hockey seniors debut

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FORMER Ballard School pupil Tim Nurse has hailed his England men’s hockey debut as a “dream that became a reality”.

Despite losing the double-header against a robust Argentina side, Nurse’s achievement is a big step in his career, writes Alice Clifford.

Nurse found out about his selection only a few hours before the game after an injury in the team meant he was called up.

Former Ballard School pupil Tim Nurse making his England debut
Former Ballard School pupil Tim Nurse making his England debut

He recalled: “It was quite emotional singing the national anthem as it made me think of all the hard work that got me to this moment.”

Nurse started his hockey career at the age of 11 at Bournemouth Hockey Club, where he holds some of his “fondest memories growing up playing hockey”.

He went on to play for England U21s and swiftly became one of their star players. In 2019 he was named the best player at the Junior EuroHockey Championships, where the team took home silver.

He has also played for Bath Buccaneers and now plays for south London side Surbiton.

Nurse’s coach at Ballard School, Jeffrey Whalen, said: “Tim would always think about the team before the individual when decision-making, and he always loved to play no matter the opposition, the weather or the score at the time. He was destined to be involved in the sport for a long time”.

Nurse now has his sights set on playing in the Olympics and becoming a consistent member of the England and Great Britain teams.

The game against Argentina was part of the FIH Hockey Pro League, the biggest annual hockey league for men and women. Nurse’s England side are currently seventh with six points.

However, England hold two games in hand over table-toppers Netherlands.

England play against India in the Pro League next, on 2nd April, and with India sitting in second, it will be a challenging game.

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