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Linebacker Ben called up for Great Britain U19 squad

Driffield teenager Ben Horne has earned a place in the Great Britain Under-19 American Football squad after impressing at a training session in Nottingham.

He has been selected as one of 120 players who will get together for another training camp, before the squad is whittled down to 45 ahead of a fixture in Italy later this year.

The 16-year-old who studies sports science at Bishop Burton College, only started playing two years ago but said: “It is a great sport and I am really happy. It is a big responsibility being asked to represent your country.”

Horne plays linebacker for Scunthorpe Alphas Under 19s, but only became interested when a family friend asked if he would be interested in giving it a go.

He is one of four Scunthorpe players to be selected for national age group squads and mum Gemma said the Great Britain coach praised the club for producing a string of excellent prospects.

Ben, who went to Driffield School and achieved a distinction in sports science, has an education health care plan, and his mum said she hoped his achievements would inspire other youngsters in a similar situation.

“I’m so proud of Ben. I cried when I got the phone call from the coach on Christmas Eve,” said Gemma.

“American Football is not massive in this country yet but it is the fastest growing sport in the country and there are more than 200 teams at various levels.

“It is gaining momentum but the costs are still significant.

“If he is selected to go to Italy, we will need to pay for his flights and his hotel costs, and the next training session for Great Britain is in Greenwich, rather than at Nottingham University, as they tend to split the sessions between the North and South.

“Equipment is also expensive, even second-hand, and there are costs of hiring facilities as well as travel to his club in Scunthorpe.”

Anyone who is interested in sponsoring ben and helping with his costs can contact the Driffield & Wolds Weekly.

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