World Cup medal just eludes Tew

Edwardstone’s Fran Tew was desperately close to making history with England Under-21s hockey team as they almost returned from the Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Germany with a medal.

But despite losing to India 3-2 on a shootout after a 1-1 draw in the bronze medal match on Sunday, following a 3-0 semi-final defeat to Argentina, Tew has said it was an experience she will forever treasure.

The 18-year-old, who was England’s youngest player in Mönchengladbach, said: “It was an overwhelming and an amazing experience to be on that world stage — it is one of those things I will never forget.”

The Ipswich Hockey Club player, who has just finished her A-levels at Ipswich School, is off to California on Sunday after securing a scholarship in field hockey at the prestigious Stanford University.

The right-back scored in England’s 8-1 thrashing of Belgium in their second game, but said their run to the semi-final was unexpected.

“To be honest we were quite pessimistic before the tournament,” she said. “Getting in the top six would have been unreal as we were expecting eighth or ninth.”

But she added: “It was such a shame as we would have made history as England have never got a medal from this.”

Tew, who made her England debut when she was 15, does harbour hopes of breaking into the seniors, though admits that is some way off.

“If the tournaments make sense next summer I will see if I can continue under-21s for the next three years and then the seniors would hopefully be within reach,” she said.