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Fulston Manor School

Fulston Manor School A Fulston Manor Academies Trust School

James Trials for English Pool!

The top 64 under 18’s in the country were at Leicester all looking to get in the England Pool squad. Included in this group was our very own James Goldsmith, Year 11 Stanhope student.

James and the other contestants played the Swiss System, which effectively means you get 3 lives. The idea is the best players come through at the end of the day. All matches are best of 5 (first to 3). James won his first two matches 3-0 & 3-1. His third match ended in a narrow 3-2 defeat (1 life gone).

In the fourth game he won 3-1 and in the fifth game he lost 3-1 (2 lives gone). No more mistakes could be made from here on in. The sixth and final round of games in the 1st phase saw James win 3-0, this gave him a record - played 6 won 4 (along with 9 other boys), there was 1 boy who won 6 out of 6 he automatically qualified for the England Team, and 3 boys who had won 5 out of 6.

A very complicated but fair system now pits the 10 boys on 4 wins out of 6 against each other in 5 groups of 3, with 1 going through from each group, this was phase 2. James won both his group games 3-2 & 3-0 respectively; this now puts him into the third and final phase of the trial. The 5 group winners and the 3 boys who had won 5 out of 6 in phase 1 were all redrawn at random for 4 final games, the 4 winners would progress to the England Team. James was drawn against a boy from Cornwall and did not miss a ball in the 3-0 victory, all over in 15 minutes - what an achievement! This now gives James some real kudos as an England international, something that can never be taken away.   

A venue and date for this year’s World Championships is yet to be finalised, but if these trials were not brutal enough, a further internal trial is required to whittle down the now 16 squad members down to a final 6 who will represent England, and also be able to compete in the World Championship under 18 individual event. There is still a lot of hard work ahead for James.

James and his family would like to thank the following companies for their sponsorship which helps pay for entry fees, travel and accommodation: Medichem Properties, Nicholls Transport, SKJ Steel Services, Energy Consultancy Ltd and PNJ Services Ltd.

Staff at Fulston are very proud of James’ achievements so far and look forward to seeing where his sporting career in Pool takes him.