Windebank ready to take on the world
PUBLISHED: 11:30 07 February 2014
Royal Liberty pupil to compete in Pee-Wee Championships
Royal Liberty pupil Bradley Windebank heads to Canada on Monday to compete for England under-13s in the World Pee-Wee Ice Hockey Championships.
Goalie Windebank, a former Romford junior, was forced to join Slough when the Rom Valley Way ice rink closed last April.
But he has maintained his form with his new team to earn selection for the prestigious event.
He said: “I am really looking forward to playing in Canada. It’s something you dream about when you first start playing, seeing the big arenas on TV, but I get to live that dream now.
“I’m really pleased to have been selected for England and a year before I am the right age too. This tournament will be very exciting.”
Liberty’s head of PE Paul Humphries added: “We are very pleased for Bradley and sure it is the first of many great achievements for him.
“In his short time at Royal Liberty School he has already shown what an excellent sportsman he is. His dedication for ice hockey and sport in general is what sets him apart from other talented students.
“He travels over two hours on Tuesday evenings after school to get to training and it is not uncommon for him to play a school football match then change his boots for skates and head straight for training!”
Windebank is coached at Slough by former Romford Raiders defenceman and junior head coach Ben Pitchley and was named under-11 MVP and all star for the South East region at the Inter Conference tournament in Hull last summer.
He attended a Quest for Quebec selection camp in Sheffield, where 46 players were put through their paces over three days, and impressed coaching staff to earn one of the two goalie spots, despite being an underage player.
Windebank tops the South Under-12 goalie stats with a save percentage of 90.81, despite facing more than 70 shots per match on average, and after two more England training camps and warm-up matches in Sheffield and Bradford, will cross the Atlantic for 16 days of hockey.
Pitchley said: “Brad is joining the list of Romford netminders that have played for this England age group in Quebec, alongside Charlie Kaylor, Sonny Phillips and Ethan James.
“All three would probably tell you that this is the best tournament they have ever played in.”
Dad Paul Windebank added: “The whole family and friends are very proud of what Brad has achieved in being selected to represent England, especially in a very prestigious tournament such as this, with many current NHL players having participated in it in previous years.
“We have heard so many great things about this tournament and the trip in general from parents who have been before and are really looking forward to all it brings. I’m sure to feel immense pride when he first steps onto the ice in the Colisee.”
England begin their tournament schedule tomorrow week (February 15) against Delemont Fantomes in the Pepsi Colisee.
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