SCOTSTOUN handball goalkeeper Hamish Bottomley has been called-up to the Great Britain U18 training squad ahead of this summer’s European Handball Federation Championships.

He is joined by his fellow pupils Euan Brady and Zander Geddes at Kelvinside Academy, who will join other U18 hopefuls for intense training camps during this month and April, ahead of the final selection in July.

The three boys, who also play in the school’s first XV rugby team, formed part of the year group to play handball at Kelvinside Academy just five years ago. All three have since represented Scotland at U15, U16 and U17 level.

In the short time since the sport was introduced at Kelvinside Academy, the school has won 16 national titles, the most recent of which was the U17 schools championship which took place last Friday, and 13 pupils have been capped for Scotland at age grade.

Bottomley, who was named Scotland’s U17 player of the year last year, said: “In my final year at the school, it’s amazing to look back and think how handball has grown.

“I’m excited not only to get the call-up and have the chance to prove myself against the best in the country, but also to get to experience it with two of my friends who I started playing with just a few years ago.”

Teacher Fiona Kennedy, who continues to lead the programme which has seen the prestigious west end institution become a centre of handball excellence in Scotland, added: “The pupils caught the bug watching a game at London 2012, and they haven’t looked back since. It’s been infectious, everyone wants to have a go. It’s amazing how quickly so many of our pupils have taken to the sport.

“News of these GB call ups should encourage even more people to take part. The boys have really shown both natural talent and immense dedication to reach this level.”