Hampshire’s Shane Castle has been selected to represent England at the 2013 European Under 21 championship in Serbia in March.

The precocious 15-year-old talent earned the right to compete through his brilliant efforts on the 2012-13 English Junior Premier Tour.

Castle, from Marchwood, has won an event and had two more semi-final placings this season.

He is also riding high in England Under 21 series and is through to the last 32 stage of the English Amateur Championship.

The best junior players from up to 40 European countries compete in the prestigious championship, with the winner being nominated for a place on the World Snooker Main Professional Tour in 2013-14.

Previous winners include some of today’s top young professionals like Mark Allen, Jamie Jones and Michael White.

It is the first time a major snooker event will be staged in Serbia, as snooker continues to open up new territories and more fans and broadcasters embrace the sport.

In 2012 Castle competed in the event for the first time, and amazed and wowed audiences in Bulgaria and across the Internet by reaching the final.

He went on to lift the EBSA European Open under 18 title at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester last summer.

Castle is fine tuning his game under the watchful eye of On Q Promotions director of coaching Terry Griffiths at South West Snooker Academy.

“I’m not keen on the safety game,” admitted Castle, “but I do know how important it is and Terry is helping me with this side of the game.”

Castle has also been practicing with Mark Allen, who won the event in Siberia in 2005.

The European Under 21 championships is being staged in the Serbia city of Bor from March 18-22.