England Development squad to face leading men's teams

As well as seeing the Vitality Roses take on Jamaica, fans at the Vitality Roses Reunited Series this weekend will also be treated to seeing an England Development squad face two of the leading men’s competitive netball teams: London Giants (4 Dec) and Knights (5 Dec). 

These curtain raiser fixtures come shortly after the recently announced EN and England Men’s and Mixed Netball Association (EMMNA) partnership which aims to promote and support the growth of men’s and mixed netball throughout the country. 

These matches will give all teams valuable exposure to different playing styles and an opportunity to showcase their talents in front of an incredible Nottingham crowd.

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England Development squad:  

Name Position/s
Victoria Burgess Head Coach 
Colette Thomson Assistant Coach
Sheonah Forbes Assistant Coach
Alice Harvey GK, GD
Suzie Liverseidge WA, GA
Berri Neil GA, GS
Ellie Rattu C, WD
Annabel Roddy WD, GD
Kira Rothwell GA, WA
Alicia Scholes WA, C
Olivia Tchine GS
Emma Thacker GS, GA
Hannah Williams C, WA
Aliyah Zaranyika WD, GD
Ella Bowen GD, GK 
Emma Rayner WA, C

Victoria Burgess’ squad, made up of England’s best up-and-coming talent, will aim to exhibit their abilities this weekend and hope to secure a win as they face London Giants and Knights.

Included in the squad is Aliyah Zaranyika, a skilled defender who won Player of the Tournament at the recent U21 Europe Netball competition.

21-year-old Olivia Tchine will be one to watch in front of goal having twice been crowned Europe Netball champion.    


London Giants squad:                                                

Name Position/s
Pat Watson Head Coach
Charlene Ponteen Assistant Coach
Damian Williams GA, GS
Geoff Mackay WA, GA
Jared Bleakley C, WD
Jermaine Johnson GS, GA
Ky Lewis GS, GK
Lee Robnett GA, WA
Ryan Allan GK, WA
Tusyan Lawless GK, GD, WD
Tommy Wiseman GK, GD, GS
Jason Somers  WD, C (Captain)
Jamal Nicholson GD, GK (Vice Captain)
Simon Taylor  C, WA (Vice Captain)

 London Giants are the current men’s national champions. They’ll be putting out an experienced squad this weekend with the team having extensive experience in both men’s and mixed netball. 

Head Coach and ex-England Netball international Pat Watson has been working hard with Assistant Coach Charlene Ponteen to prepare for this weekend’s clash. 

The squad will be captained by Jason Somers alongside vice captain Simon Taylor, who has played in four Nets World Cups for England Nets, a variation of netball played in an enclosed high tension cage. 

Geoff Mackay is another player to look out for. A solid attacker who also plays Australian football, he will be looking to disrupt England’s defence as he’s confident in both WA and GA. 

The strong defensive knowledge of Tusyan Lawless will also help to minimise England’s goal-scoring opportunities; with over 20 years of experience on court, he will be looking to force turnovers and cause problems for England’s attack.


Knights squad:

Name  Position/s
Tallisa Haynes  Head Coach
Rachel Zillwood Assistant Coach
Chris Green C,WA
Daniel Rix WD,C,WA
Ed Smith WD,C,WA 
James O’Connor GA,GK
Charlie Gray WA,GA
Joe White GS 
Lewis Keeling GS, GK
Louis Gabriel GK, GD 
Matt Kelly C, WD
Richard Laney GS,GA,GK
James Thomson-Boston GD (Captain)
Klem Speck WD, C, WA (Vice Captain)

Knights, who are also based in London, will be led by Head Coach and Nets 2016 gold medalist Tallisa Haynes, supported by Assistant Coach Rachel Zillwood. 

The team will be captained by James Thomson-Boston, who has played netball internationally for the Australian U21 Men’s team and is also an avid basketball player. 

Alongside him will be defender Louis Gabriel, who played semi-pro rugby in South Africa and is part of a netball orientated family; his sister Beth Gabriel was part of the VNSL title winning Loughborough Lightning squad in 2021.

Chris Green, a semi-professional American footballer who has recently reached 50 caps for Knights, is another versatile player in the C and WA position.

2016 England Nets World Cup player Lewis Keeling will also be hoping to make an impact during Sunday’s game. Keeling, who is Managing Director for Knights, has notched up over 100 caps for the club. 

This weekend’s fixtures are as follows:

Date Fixture FCP 
04/12/2021 England Development v London Giants 13:45
04/12/2021 Vitality Roses v Jamaica  16:00
05/12/2021 England Development v Knights Men’s  13:45
05/12/2021 Vitality Roses v Jamaica  16:00

The England Development v London Giants and England Development v Knights Men’s curtain raiser matches will not be broadcast, but fans can still buy tickets here to see them live in Nottingham. You can find half-time and full time updates of these games on EN’s Twitter.

 Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all the latest updates.

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