MATTHEW Ramshaw, who started his hockey career playing for Airedale Hockey Club, now Aire Valley HC, as a five-year-old at Oakbank School, has been handed his first England call up tomorrow (May 21).

The Bradley youngster will make his senior international debut against an improving French team at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre (where the 2012 Olympics were held) in the FIH Pro League.

The FIH Pro League puts the top 10 national teams into a six-month league competition and acts as crucial build up to this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

England will play France tomorrow at 1pm and again on Sunday at 12pm, with the matches to be televised on BT Sport.

With eight more games to play in this year's Pro League for England, Ramshaw will hopefully get more opportunities before the Birmingham Games

The 22-year-old started playing hockey in Keighley before moving to Ilkley-based Ben Rhydding for a couple of seasons, before heading off to Loughborough University.

He was contracted to England hockey earlier this year as a full-time professional and now plays for Premier Division side Hampstead and Westminster.

He has represented England at under-16, u18 and u21 level and was the youngest member of the GB u23 team at the age of just 17 in 2017, when he was voted the most promising young player by the sports writers' association.

Ramshaw's mum, dad and younger sister are all still active at Aire Valley HC and the England prospect himself frequently returns to show his support too.

The club has thrived since lockdown and has grown.

The club still play at Oakbank and has plans to improve the facilities in the town.

Men’s first team coach at Aire Valley Hockey Club, Richard Stewart, said: “When Matthew was a junior, we had about 40 of them and his year group made the national finals at under-12 level.

“Now we have over 100 and some very talented prospects.

“We always knew Matthew had the potential and he has worked incredibly hard over the last seven to eight years to achieve this goal.

“It's only the start, I am sure he will get many caps and has a real shot at Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.”

Club chairman Tim Hazelhurst commented: “The club is holding its first annual dinner on Saturday night (tomorrow), so this will be a great kick off for the new club.

“We have great ambitions as a club and there is nothing like a homegrown international to inspire us.”