AN EASTCOTE man is celebrating after winning a bronze medal at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.
David Beckett helped Great Britain to third place in the hockey competition at the tournament held in Sydney last month.
The former Haydon School pupil now has his sights set on a place in the England team for the Junior World Cup in Malaysia and Singapore, in June, having already been named in the preliminary squad of 25, which will later be cut to 16.
Beckett featured in all four games, enduring searing temperatures up to 40oC as GB lost 3-2 to Australia, 6-1 to India and scraped a 4-4 draw with Malaysia, thanks to an equalising goal scored in the dying seconds.
While the host nation went on to beat India 2-1 to win gold, GB thumped Malaysia 5-2 to clinch the bronze.
The festival is a five-day, multi-sports event held every two years aimed at giving 13 to 19-year-olds a taste of Olympic-style competition, although hockey was the exception because it featured U21 teams.
Beckett, 19, took up the sport at East-cote Hockey Club where his father, John, was a keen player, before joining one of the country's leading clubs, Reading, 10 years later.
He was chosen for England U18s in 2007, England U21 honours followed and last year he played for the full England team in the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Challenge.
He is currently at Loughborough University where he is in the second year of foundation degree in sports science with management.