BOWLS: The future is bright
DEVIZES teenager Thomas Bright is looking forward to pulling on an international shirt for the first time after earning a place in the England U21 short mat bowls squad.
The 18-year-old, who plays for Bromham, was spotted by U21s manager Brian Claessen while playing in a tournament in Kempston, Bedfordshire, earlier this year and was invited to trial for the national set-up in Northampton.
Bright, who also plays outdoors for Devizes, then did enough to become only the second-ever player from Wiltshire to earn an international call-up.
“I qualified with my club team for a national competition and when we were playing there, the England U21 coach was there watching – I ended up getting an invite for the trials from there,” said Bright, who works in the IT department at TH White Group in Devizes.
“The trials were great. We worked through all kinds of different situations and there were some good players there.
“I found out a little while afterwards that I’d made the squad and that was really good news because it was something that I was hoping that I could do.
“I only started playing bowls when I would go along with my grandma on a Thursday evening. Then, when I realised I liked it, I began playing for the club, got into the county team and now we’re here.
“We’re going to be playing one-day games against Wales in January but we’ve also got some matches at the end of October where we’ll play against a few county sides.
“Everyone has got to line up in their county kit and the captain will hand us all our international shirts – that’s going to be a great moment.”
Fifteen-year-old Aidan Wicks, from Westbury, became the first county player to earn international honours last year.
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