TWO young footballing talents have been selected for the English Colleges FA national squad.

Striker Betty Cheetham, who plays for Barnsley Football Club and Barnsley Sports Academy, was chosen after performing in the regional and national trials. She will report to St George’s Park, the English Football Association’s national football centre, on December 10 with the squad for training, potentially gaining her first cap on December 11.

Midfielder Ellie Hawcroft, who plays for Sheffield Football Club and Barnsley Sports Academy, has secured a scholarship in America after impressing coaches at a PASS4Soccer showcase, which arranges soccer scholarships in USA universities for players from the UK, Europe and around the world.

Betty, 16, of Royston, said: “I wasn’t sure if I’d get selected because they don’t really let much on. But I’m really pleased. I was shocked and overwhelmed when I found out I would be representing the college, it’s a very special feeling to be selected for English Colleges Football Association. The tutors at the college have been fantastic and have really supported us.”

Ellie, 18, of Monk Bretton, said: “I’m over the moon to have been selected to represent Barnsley College at national level. Barnsley Sports Academy has really helped me improve my football, we train three times a week which works around our classes really

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well.”

The students are part of the Barnsley Sports Academy within Barnsley College and have access to an Elite Sports Performance Bursary to fund equipment and travel.

Luke Forgione, sports performance and athlete development co-ordinator at Barnsley College, said: “It is fantastic to have two students selected for the England Colleges team.

“This illustrates the calibre of players we have at the college. We are extremely proud of Ellie and Betty, who continually perform at a high level in our Female Football Academy, and have been rewarded for their efforts with the International call up. Playing for your country at any level is a fantastic achievement.”

Betty’s parents Tracey and Tim Cheetham said: “We’re very proud of Betty. She has worked very hard and to be selected for the English Colleges Women’s Squad is a brilliant achievement and an amazing opportunity for her.”