Gabby Marshall is one of six players in line to win their first England Roses caps at Netball Europe this weekend.
It’s been a big week for Marshall, who recently announced she would be joining benecosMavericks for the 2018 Vitality Netball Superleague season. For now though, her focus remains on the Roses.
She said: “I’m really excited. Obviously for me, it’s an opportunity to get my first cap for the senior team so although that is at the forefront of my mind, I think I’m just really excited to play with a new group of girls.
“It’s quite a young, up-and-coming team and I think this training camp has been really exciting to see how we fit together.
“We’ve got people coming in off the back of the Quad Series, we’ve got new U21s who could potentially get their first cap and I think it’ll just be great to see how we all pull together.
“Essentially the young ones in the group have nothing to lose – we’ve got to go out there and put our best foot forward and show the coaches what we can do.
“There’s a lot of youngsters who are chomping at the bit to try and get those starting positions.
“Although it’s against the lower ranking sides, I think it’s a great opportunity for us to show what we can do and there are ranking points at stake so we’re really striving to come away with the wins.”
Marshall was a key player for the bronze medal-winning Young Roses at the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana in July and is now hoping to push on.
She said: “I think the World Youths was a great stepping stone for me, just to get that under my belt and have that international competition day in, day out.
“But obviously now, it’s about making that step up into the senior side and doing the little things, learning off players like Jade and Sasha and all those great players around me just to become a more established senior player.”
Marshall is used to having a leadership role with the U21s and is now looking to effortlessly slot into a new group of players.
She said: “I think it’s just about bringing my strengths to the team, not being shy about coming into a new group.
“It’s about focusing on what I do well and being that calm influencer in the middle.”
Winning your first cap for your country is a proud moment for any athlete, their family and friends.
This weekend could also see a long-standing bet settled between Gabby and her mum.
Marshall playfully said: “So me and my mum had a bet a few years ago.
“Basically, I really want a sausage dog and she doesn’t want me to have a sausage dog so she said ‘if you get a cap for the seniors, I’ll buy you a sausage dog’ – this was about three years ago.
“When I got the email saying that I’d been picked for Netball Europe, she was obviously really happy for me but then she was panicking thinking ‘oh no, I’ve got to buy her a sausage dog’.
“So I think she’s really hoping that I don’t get a cap this weekend as much as she loves me!”
Malawi this November, get your tickets now!