Talented Fareham teen Will Raymond is set to dip his toes into European Hockey League action this weekend - less than 12 months after batting his back back from a long term injury.
The 18-year old, named Fareham's young player last season, is in the Cardiff & Met squad for potentially demanding Euro ties against German and Russian opposition.
It's some step up from the Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division he was playing for Fareham seconds last autumn !
High grade A-levels have taken Raymond to Cardiff University for a three-year Sport & Exercise Science degree course - and, despite his fresher year status, he's quickly made his way into the high flying Welsh club's EHL West Conference squad, which qualifies for Europe as Welsh club champions.
But, provided its a good deal quieter in Barcelona after last weekend's Catalan referendum revolt, the highly rated Fareham prospect will be experiencing a whole new hockey ball game.
"We play the German national league side (and indoor champions) Uhlenhorst Muljim on Friday and, less than 24 hours later, Dinamo Leektrolstal, from Russia - two games, which in my wildest dreams I didn't think I'd ever be playing in at his embryo stage of my hockey career," he smiled.
Fareham manager Nigel Cook has little doubt about Raymond's ability to cope with the demands of Euro League hockey.
"It will be a fantastic experience for him, but Will's played for the England Colleges and had an Under-21 trial.
"He's been with us since 12 years of age, came back from injury last season and got got better and better in what proved a demanding campaign battling against relegation.
"We've loaned him out to Cardiff for three years, where I'm sure his hockey will continue to go from strength to strength.
"Ironically, Fareham's next away match is against Cardiff at Sophia Gardens in two weeks time."
Welcome to Vimps at the Hockey
Powered by Cricket-Hockey.com, the hockey equipment specialists in Downton, Salisbury