Amber steps up to England U18 squad

Norfolk teenager Amber Ratcliffe has been selected as an England squad player for the Scottish U16 open strokeplay championship.

The 15-year-old from Royal Cromer will take her place alongside other top players in her age group for the championship at Strathmore in April.

The six-strong squad includes English U15 champion Georgia Hall of Dorset and fellow England girl international Bronte Law of Cheshire.

They've got a lot to live up to. Last year the English Women's Golf Association squad swept the board of honours. Between them, the players won the individual U16 and U14 titles and the team honours.

Amber is definitely up for the challenge. She was already targeting this event as one of her season's goals and she's got great form in the championship.

This will be her fourth appearance in the championship and last year, playing as an individual, she came fifth overall, helped by a second round of three-under par 69.

'I was hoping to get in the squad and it will be great,' said Ratcliffe, who also represented England in last year's North of England Under-16 championship at Pannal.

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'It's a really, really good squad and I'm looking forward to it.'

It will mean a different approach for Ratcliffe because, for the first time, she'll set off on a golfing venture without her father, Byron.

'Parents don't go with the squad. It'll be weird without my dad, but it will be good experience.'

Ratcliffe will be building on an excellent 2010 season when she retained the English schools' Under-16 title and won both the East region ladies' and girls' championships.

She trains with the English Women's Golf Association Select Midlands Squad.