Bury St Edmunds: Young rounders star Ellie Steggles set to snub Harry Styles and One Direction to play for England

Ellie Steggles has been called up to the England U14s squad for rounders. Ellie is pictured at South

Ellie Steggles has been called up to the England U14s squad for rounders. Ellie is pictured at South Lee School in Bury. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk youngster has a big decision to make after being called up to play for the England rounders team – should she represent her country or go and watch her heroes One Direction in concert?

One Direction members Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles, whom El

One Direction members Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles, whom Ellie will not now be watching on June 7 next year - Credit: Archant

Ellie Steggles, a student at South Lee School in Bury St Edmunds, looks set to represent England under 14 rounders team on June 7 next year – the same date she has tickets to go and see the boyband in action after an early Christmas present.

But, after consulting with her family and particularly her grandad, it seems Ellie has made her mind up if she is selected to play.

“I think I’m going to pick rounders over One Direction,” said the youngster. “They’re my favourite band but my grandad said I should never turn down the chance to play for my country!”

The call-up came as a great surprise to Ellie and mum Sarah as the talented student only went to the England u14 trial, in Corby, after falling in love with the sport at school.


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But, after being persuaded by her PE teacher to attend the trials, which were keenly contested by 119 girls Ellie was selected as one of the 21 individuals who will represent their country in the 2013/14 rounders squad.

What makes the achievement even more remarkable is that Ellie is only 12 – making her two years younger than some of her team-mates.

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Not that playing alongside and against older girls fazes her – she is already part of the u17 Suffolk netball squad and the u14 Suffolk cricket team.

And Ellie is looking forward to competing for her country in a sport she loves.

“It’s going to be a very good experience,” she said.

“It felt amazing to be asked, all the girls I played against were very good and I didn’t think I would get in but luckily I did.”

After a series of training sessions throughout the winter, Ellie and her new team-mates will be prepared by the England coaches to take part in a series of summer international fixtures against other countries.

Mum Sarah, who also works at South Lee School as a teacher, said: “We are all so proud of her.

“She’s done amazingly well and all of our friends and everyone at the school have been so excited for her.”

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