BLOG: England U19 tour to New Zealand and Australia

Manchester Thunder’s Youth squad have won the Netball Performance League title for a staggering fifth season in a row. This is the sixth time Manchester Thunder have won the title and they have impressively not been beaten since 2011. Having beaten Surrey Storm Youth by just a single goal on Saturday 16th April of this season, their last loss in the league was almost five whole years ago at the hands of the same team on 17th April 2011. Thunder formally became unsurpassable when they beat Yorkshire Jets 61-41 at the Manchester Arena before Netball Manchester Live on Monday 18th April. Thunder Youth will be officially presented with the NPL trophy at the Copper Box Arena on 7th May. Take a look at the Manchester Thunder (formally Northern Thunder) Netball Talent League/Netball Performance League record from 2008-16 below: 2015-16 - League Champions 2014-15 - League Champions 2013-14 - League Champions 2012-13 - League Champions 2011-12 - League Champions 2010-11 - League Runners Up 2009-10 - League Champions 2008-09 - League Runners Up England Netball would like to congratulate Thunder Youth on their impressive record and season win for 2016.

An England U19 side is currently on tour to New Zealand and Australia with Sheonah Forbes’ 20-strong squad set to face a New Zealand Secondary Schools Team in Auckland and the Australian U19 team in Canberra.

The tour provides this talented crop of players with the chance to gain some international experience and partake in a number of competitive tests, opportunities the England squad are relishing.

They’ll be blogging all their adventures so check back each day for a new update!

Injury Update

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Due to a knee injury sustained in training, Millie Sanders will not be playing for the remainder of the tour.

Wishing Millie a speedy recovery!

Entry Nine – Yas and Beth

We started off the day with a training session to prepare us for our first match against the Australian squad later in the afternoon.

After preparing through team meetings and watching video clips, we felt ready to take on the opposition.

Our match was made up of 6×10 minutes and we got the opportunity to play against three different squads of the Australian youths.

It was a high intensity game with lots of contest and we gained a lot of experience from our first run out against those teams.

We finished off the day with recovery in the AIS plunge pool to aid performance for our upcoming matches over the next few days.

Entry Eight – Suzie and Sienna

Today we had a great first run out since arriving at the AIS in Canberra where we worked on through court attack.

After lunch we had our first match on Australian soil against ACT state team, it was great to see our strategies in place and we were really happy with the performance the squad put out,

and that all players took to the court.

This evening we had a team meeting – it was great to see the improvements we’ve made in our video analysis.

We are looking forward to our first match against Australia tomorrow.

Entry Seven – Berri and Emma

After completing a very intense New Zealand leg of tour, we arrived In Australia at AIS.

Rest day was needed and consisted of a recovery session in the hydro pools and ice baths.

We got to know the campus and visit the AIS shop and to top it all off got to see some kangaroos!

We are now ready to take on our first day of matches tomorrow!

Entry Six – Ally and Rachael

Two games today against New Zealand.

First game in the morning, we put out fresh legs to challenge New Zealand to another tough match.

After having an insight into how they play from our first match, we were more able to focus on specific tactics against their specific player strengths.

We then had a quick rush back to the Lodge for ice baths and the treat tacos for lunch.

Contrary to expectations of fatigue, our second game of the day was more energetic then ever.

Both teams put everything out on court – making it feel just as exhausting watching as it was to play!

Injury Update

Ruth Hughes (Wasps) has unfortunately sustained a concussion injury and will be flying home at the end of our NZ leg.

We’re all fully behind Ruth in her recovery.

Entry Five – Zara

Today we had our first game against the New Zealand Secondary Schools team, so we used our training session in the morning to cement some of our principles on centre pass attack and defence.

The squad for the afternoon was announced after training and then it was a quick turnaround for lunch and preparation for the game.

The match was competitive and every ball was contested, which gave us a great opportunity to test ourselves against the Kiwi style of play.

We finished off the day with a match debrief in the evening and a discussion to clarify any questions we had for the umpires.

Entry Four – Alice and Kira

Our first day of proper training after completing our landing plan.

We started this morning with a Fast5 training session in preparation for this afternoon’s match play with the Kiwis.

After training we had recovery which consisted of two mins in three pools (two cold, one hot) twice round.

After a pita pit lunch we met the NZ secondary schools team and played a few games with them before our match play.

Match play was Fast5 with mixed teams from England and NZ – we got out first proper taste of NZ netball.

Entry Three – Jasmin

We started off the day with our first contested netball session of the tour.

We eased back into training with some drills that were built up into contested match play at the end.

We then had a nice break where the team explored the area nearby the hotel and picked up a few souvenirs, before an afternoon court session.

After our session we travelled to our new accommodation and settled in, ready for the Fast5 tournament tomorrow!

Entry Two – Funmi and Ellie

Today’s training session mainly focussed on predicted change of direction exercises, which was then brought into different drills.

Afterwards we stretched and had a cool down to aid in our recovery.

Later on after lunch, we had a short gym session that involved on-feet conditioning and even got the chance to make and drink a protein shake.

To finish of the day we all went out to watch the Silver Ferns and NZ Men’s Invitational team play against each other, then took part in a short rolling and stretching session.

Entry One – Annabel and Emma 

It’s been a busy but great start to tour this year. We departed Heathrow in the early hours of Wednesday and arrived in Auckland on Thursday evening.

It was a long flight but a good night’s sleep and a very good breakfast helped to start our first day of training.

We went to a local gym and completed a mobility and tough bike session.

With team spirits high we then headed to complete a pool recovery session followed by lunch at the marine.

It’s fair to say that we have all really enjoyed our first day in New Zealand and look forward to the training, matches and experiences ahead.

Make sure you’re following @U19Netball on Twitter for the latest updates!

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