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Newmarket's clay pigeon shooter Paul Neal called up by England

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Paul Neal’s return to form has been rewarded with qualification for multiple upcoming international events, writes Liam Apicella.

Last year proved to be tough for the Newmarket clay pigeon shooter, who by his own admission struggled for results and confidence after making some alterations to his set up.

However, he has rediscovered the right formula so far in 2022, which in turn will see him represent England at the Home International next week, as well as the European Championships (also later this month) and next year’s World Championships in South Africa.

Paul Neal has been selected to represent England
Paul Neal has been selected to represent England

Neal said: “I took a bit of a risk with some of the changes and ended up losing confidence.

“I still made the England team but it was not the best year.

“This year it feels like my brain has clicked in a bit more and confidence is higher.

“It’s good to be heading into these events in positive form.”

Neal credits the mental work he has been putting in as a leading factor in the recent upturn in form.

The 52-year-old added: “You’ve got to get your head right. A lot of it in shooting comes down to making sure your head is right on the day. I’ve been doing a lot of focus and mental work.

“I listen to music on the way to events. It doesn’t work for everyone but it’s been helping to get me in the right frame of mind.”