May 21 2013 Latest news:
Friday, March 22, 2013
Barking prop Geoff Hughes will represent London & South East under-20s in Leicestershire next weekend.
Results may not have gone Barking’s way on the pitch but the 18-year-old Geoff Hughes has seen his own good season capped with his selection for the London & South East under-20s squad.
Former Robert Clack pupil Hughes took part in two graded regional Essex games alongside fellow Barking boys Connor O’Toole and Seb Nagle-Taylor.
And Hughes, who has been with the Gale Street club for the last three seasons, took man of the match honours in one of the matches, which was enough to earn him his spot alongside Nagle-Taylor, though O’Toole missed out.
And while at the tender age of 18 he would not have expected to be featuring in the Barking first team plans, he believes the season has brought him on leaps and bounds.
“For the club it has been a disappointing year after having to get a completely new squad for the second season in a row,” said Hughes.
“But for me personally it has been a great experience at a young age.
“Results haven’t gone our way, but the morale has still been high and a lot of the boys are keen to return next year which is good.
“I have been a Barking for three years, but I initially started at Ilford Wanderers. My aim one day was to get in the first team at Barking, but I didn’t think it would come this soon.”
Hughes started out his rugby journey at Clack under the joint tutelage of Mike McDarby and Dave Maudsley.
And his rapid development has seen him brought into the Goresbrook side’s first team squad after injuries.
Since then Hughes has not looked back and over the years he has been in the Essex age group squads before earning his chance at under-20 regional level.
Hughes will feature in three matches over Easter weekend (March 29-31) at Leicestershire’s Welbeck College against South West, Midlands and North regions in what will effectively be national trials.
If all goes to plan Hughes could join a list of England youth representatives such as current skipper Craig Ratford and past players including Nico Fraser and Jackson Wray.
But the prop is just keen to take one step at a time.
“I got the email and I was delighted to get selected,” he added. “I have played for Essex before but to get this regional call-up was great.
“I’m taking it all one step at a time though, but it’s great to be selected for London and South East.
“The games are on the Saturday and Sunday and they are trials for the England under-20s.
“It would be great to be selected but I’m keen to keep my feet on the floor and take it gradually. It’s important not to get too carried away.”