Ben Clayden has been chosen for the England Under 25 Trailblazers netball squad
A Morton netball player has earned England selection after a meteoric rise through the ranks.
Ben Clayden has been chosen for the England Under 25 Trailblazers squad after making an instant impact on the national stage.
The 21-year-old played for Norfolk United at the recent national finals where his performances caught the eye of the England selectors.
The goal attacker was named as player of the tournament in his position at the England Men's and Mixed Netball Association (EMNA) event on his maiden outing for the club.
Ben has played regularly at the Bourne-based Sports and Shorts Netball Club which is run by his mum Lorna before taking the next step in the sport.
Lorna explained: "I've been his coach since he was about seven-years-old and he's always come to clubs which I've run.
"He's always dabbled and played but wanted to get involved more and he was invited in August to play in a mixed team at the national finals through the EMNA.
"He was swapped into the Norfolk United men's team two days before the event and went on to win goal attacker of the tournament.
"Within the space of five weeks, he's gone from playing in Bourne to the nationals and then being selected by England.
"It is something that we are super proud of because he has done brilliantly."
The performances of the former Bourne Westfield and Bourne Academy pupil certainly caught the commentator's eye at the event.
Ben - who works for Frontier Agriculture - had his exploits likened to England Roses star Helen Housby with his Mullet-style hair-cut also attracting attention.
Lorna added: "We certainly didn't expect anything like that because, when he got put into the Norfolk team, we told him that they would have their own starting seven and he might not get that much court-time.
"He didn't take a minute off court though. They played him from as soon as we got there to when it finished.
"He did really well and the commentator nicknamed him the Mullet Man because of his hairstyle."
Ben will now take part in regular training programmes with the Trailblazers squad which can lead to progression into the men's England Thorns national team.
Training and tournaments take place up and down the country with Ben hoping for any sponsorship as players rely on self-funding.
Lorna commented: "Men's netball has really taken off in the last couple of years which is brilliant for the sport - girls play football so why can't men play netball?
"There is a lot of travelling involved though so it would be brilliant if anyone would be prepared to sponsor Ben."
Anyone interested in backing Ben can email Lorna at email@example.com for further information.
Her club also meets every Wednesday night for anyone over the age of 14 who wishes to turn up and play with an invitation-only mixed and men's group on a Thursday evening.