England begin their Commonwealth Games campaign on Thursday morning when they take on Scotland.
Roses captain Ama Agbeze has high expectations for her side: ‘We haven’t just selected a team and come together recently, this has been building for the last three years and so every time we play, we have a game plan and then adjust that game plan depending on what’s happened.
‘It’s about just being confident, knowing what we’re doing and having the ability to change if we need to so there’s nothing new.’
Ama has been captaining the Roses since 2016, most recently in the Quad Series where England recorded their best ever finish beating South Africa and New Zealand. Will it be any different leading the team on the Gold Coast?
‘One of my big things as captain is keeping people chilled out and relaxed and just remembering it’s only a game of netball.
‘It might be the Commonwealth Games but at the end of the day, it’s just another netball match.
‘We play Test matches and people are composed and keep their heads and do all the things they have to do, we’ve had a good run in the international season before now, so I think it’s just about doing the right things.
‘Everybody being responsible for themselves, not walking round too much, not eating too much, and I think once we nail all those other things, the netball will hopefully take care of itself.’
Eboni Beckford-Chambers, who works in the defensive end with Ama, spoke of her expectations in the first game: ‘Scotland have definitely come a long way in the last couple of months with their World Cup qualifiers where they got some really good results against the other home nations so we’re definitely not underestimating them and we know it’s going to be a four quarter performance.
‘Everyone is really raring to go, hopefully everyone will be able to step on court and pave the way for the rest of the competition.’
The Roses are looking to clinch a historic medal on the Gold Coast, but they couldn’t do it without your support. Ama’s message to fans is: ‘please get behind us.’
‘It’s pretty tough as the games go on – and people like to support anyone but England over here in Australia.
‘Messages of support are really important, people will obviously be reading those before we go to the game, so just knowing that there are people supporting us, and that they want us to do well means a lot.’