After a whirlwind year which saw a Moreton Hall student selected to represent her country in the English regional squad, the talented youngster now has her sights set on getting a spot in the national team.

Isla McDonald-O’Brien, 12, earned a place in the under-16s England regional squad, competing against players with years more experience than herself.

Despite a change in the English regional team’s system meaning Isla would have to compete at an even higher age group than the U16s, she was able to go a step further and cement a place in the U18s squad.

Isla, 12, started playing at the age of six, following in the footsteps of her brother, Rory, who plays for the English regional U15s squad, and said it took her some time to get into the swing of things.

“I remember being so little when I first started out playing golf and not long after starting, I wanted to quit because it was so difficult,” she said.

“You have just got to persevere and never give up, because golf can be a difficult sport to take up at the beginning.

“Now, I go out nearly every weekend to train with England and on the other weekends I get out and train elsewhere.”

Isla spends every other weekend training with the England U18s squad which she got into, and said she enjoys the challenge of competing with older and often more experienced players.

She said: “I knew it would be more difficult to get into the U18s, so I was surprised when I did manage to get in.

“Playing at that level is very hard but I’m doing well to keep up with the others who are a fair bit older than me which is good. There’s a lot more to do.

“We have a new coach who’s also my home coach as well so it’s quite nice to have him helping me on both fronts.

“It is quite a lot and to keep up with schoolwork can be challenging.”

Determination and perseverance are two of the main recipes for golfing success according to Isla, and these are the qualities she hopes can take her to further success on a national level in the coming years.

She said: “I want to just keep on training hard – I know you have to win some tournaments but it’s important to accept loss when it happens.

“It’s important to learn from mistakes made in different games.

“I’m aiming to get into the English national squad when I reach the age of 16.

“That would be a squad of players from across the country.

“My aim at the minute is to win the U14s tournament.

“It’s a very big tournament which a lot of selectors come to watch, so it would be good to perform well there.”