Two England squads are ready and raring to go at the Europe Netball U17 Championship this weekend in Newcastle.
The 12-strong England U17 squad are looking to defend the title they won in 2020 as they face an England Invitational team, Scotland and United Arab Emirates from 25-27 February.
With Isabella Phillips ruled out of the competition due to injury, Emily Pawlett has been named as U17 captain and can’t wait for the chance to pull on the Roses dress.
She said: “It is a huge honour and dream come true to represent my country and a sport I have loved since I was in primary school.
“It is an opportunity to play netball at an elite competition level and will be an amazing experience for us all, hopefully bringing home the win.”
England Invitational captain Jayda Pechová echoed Pawlett’s sentiment: “It is such an honour to be named captain of the Europe Netball Invitational squad.
“I would describe the team as inclusive, hardworking with lots of different personalities. I am eager to work together and reach our goals that we will be setting ourselves for every game.
“I am beyond excited to lead the incredible team that has been selected and I am looking forward to seeing what we can showcase on the court this weekend.”
The England Invitational squad is made up of 12 Roses Academy athletes and after many missed out on international competitions due to the pandemic, Europe Netball offers a fantastic opportunity for the athletes to gain valuable experience.
Vice-captain Ruby Parker commented: “Our invitational squad are eager to get going to showcase our England style and the talent within our team.
“I cannot wait to help lead our team on the court as well as off the court and show improvement and connections within the shooting circle.”
Pechová added: “As a team, I hope we are able to build stronger connections within our units and link together on court.
“I also want to make sure that we are celebrating our success across the weekend and most of all I want everyone to enjoy the experience!”
In addition to Phillips, Eden Hill and Lydia Harrison have also withdrawn from the competition due to injury – we wish all three athletes a speedy recovery.
Here are the confirmed squads for the weekend:
Victoria FISHER (VC)
Emily PAWLETT (C)
Ruby PARKER (VC)
Jayda PECHOVÁ (C)
U17 Europe Netball will be closed to spectators aside from family members.