Jodie Gibson: “We’re here to have fun and just enjoy netball!"

“Fast, exciting, fun, crazy and hard-working” – five words George Fisher would use to describe the Vitality Roses who are set to take on the world’s best in the shorter version of the game at the Fast5 Netball World Series this weekend.

The England camp is brimming with excitement as they prepare to face Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, South Africa and Malawi.

England beat Jamaica 34-29 to be crowned 2017 Fast5 Netball World Series Champions but Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Fast5 captain Jodie Gibson doesn’t feel that increases pressure on the team.

She said: “It’s a great competition – a really good event!

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“We’re here to have fun and just enjoy netball so we’re really looking forward to this weekend.

“No matter the results, the girls are here to get an opportunity and run out against these international teams.

“If we come away with the win and the gold medal, I’ll be so proud of the team and even if we don’t, I’ll still be proud of the team because we’re just here to have fun and enjoy the moment.”

Shooter Ellie Cardwell, who’ll be looking to nail long bombs, agrees that the atmosphere will be electric.

She said: “Fast5 is such a fun tournament to be a part of.

“It’s also just a great chance to get exposure on the court.”

With numerous rule changes to the traditional version of the game, including a Power Play quarter in which all of team’s points are doubled, Layla Guscoth believes anyone could come out on top.

She said: “It’s a tournament where anything can happen when certain shooters have their radar on!”

Vice-captain Natalie Panagarry is the only player who was part of last year’s title-winning squad and she can’t wait to step into the Melbourne Arena again.

She said: “I think it’s great to be back in Melbourne – their arena is phenomenal and the fans are amazing!

“There’s lots of fancy dress and music playing and dancing so it’s really exciting to get out on court.”

The Vitality Roses squad is as follows:

Eleanor Cardwell Amy Carter Ella Clark
Kadeen Corbin Sasha Corbin Emma Dovey
George Fisher Jodie Gibson (C) Layla Guscoth
Natalie Panagarry (VC)

Karen Atkinson (Head Coach) and Karen Greig (Assistant Coach) will lead the team for the event.

Take a look at the Vitality Roses’ fixtures here.

Watch the action live on Sky Sports Mix from 3.30am on Saturday and from 1am on Sunday and follow live updates on Twitter over the weekend!

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