Can Kyle Edmund follow in Wayne Rooney's footsteps?
TICKTON tennis star Kyle Edmund thought his year couldn't get any better – and was then named as a finalist for the BBC Junior Sports Personality of the Year.
The 17-year-old is one of 10 teenagers shortlisted for the prestigious accolade, previously won by the likes of Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney and Olympic bronze medalist, diver Tom Daley.
Edmund, who won the Mail's Sporting Champion award last month, says he is proud and delighted just to be nominated in the best year of his career to date.
"I didn't think 2012 could get any better," Edmund told the Mail.
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"I'm surprised to be nominated to be honest. I didn't think I was going to be nominated but the way I have finished the year has changed things.
"I found out last Thursday from my dad that I was included and I'm over the moon.
"When I read the letter and who had won the award in the past, it dawned on me how important it is.
"I am very pleased to be nominated alongside some very good athletes in their chosen sports."
Edmund, who won the junior US Open doubles title in September, has been invited to the ceremony at London's Excel Arena on Sunday, December 16, alongside the country's biggest sporting names.
However, he is due to be in La Manga as part of his pre-season training and, if he makes the final three, will fly back to be a part of the night.
"If I get to the last three then I'll fly back," he said.
"I really want to go to the ceremony because it is always a great night.
"It will be a great night for my family also, and following the success of the Olympics and Paralympics, it promises to be the best ever.
"It would be great to win the award because the previous winners are a very impressive list.
"Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Andy Murray and Tom Daley have all gone on to have great careers."
Edmund himself is carving out a very successful career on the tennis court.
He began the year ranked 1,838th in the world but has moved up to 568th after a series of impressive performances towards the back end of the season.
He accepts he has his work cut out to make next year as good as this.
"This year will be hard to beat. The start of the year was okay, but I've managed to finish the season on a high," he said.
"I've achieved a lot with my first tournament win and my first Grand Slam win in the doubles.
"I have also been privileged enough to pick up awards lately."
As part of his preparations for 2013, Edmund is busy in the gym working on his fitness.
He admits it's good to put his racquet down after a long season.
"This is my third week of pre-season training. I'm doing a lot of gym work and running and there hasn't been too much tennis so far which is a good thing," he added.
"I've been pleased to put my racquet down because I know there will be times next year when I won't be able too."
BBC Junior Sports Personality of the Year finalists: Kyle Edmund (Tennis), Jessica-Jane Applegate (Paralympic swimmer), Olivia Breen (athletics), Josef Craig (Paralympic swimmer), Georgia Hall (golfer), Quillan Isidore (BMX rider), Siobhan-Marie O'Connor (swimmer), Saskia Sills (wind-surfer), Rebecca Tunney (gymnast), Kimberley Woods (canoeist).