Today (03/02/2021) we celebrate the birthday of Beth Cobden as the mid-courter turns 28!
Beth is back in the Vitality Roses squad after a frustrating few years blighted by two long-term injuries and she made a triumphant return to court during January’s Vitality Netball Legends Series.
Arriving off the bench in the opening game against the international Vitality Netball Superleague All Stars, she was rested in the second before the final match saw her start in the red dress for the first time since the 2018 Commonwealth Games final.
We've missed those passes @BethCobs1 🙌
— England Netball (at 🏡) (@EnglandNetball) January 24, 2021
The gold medalist was an integral part of the team that achieved that historic success in 2018, starting all seven matches in the Gold Coast.
That was the culmination of a stellar run of form domestically that saw her help steer Loughborough Lightning Netball to consecutive Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) Grand Finals in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
She was also named in the All Star VII for both of those years and lifted the British Fast5 Netball All-Stars Championship.
Starring in the VNSL for Lightning, who she has re-signed for ahead of the 2021 season, led to Suncorp Super Netball outfit Adelaide Thunderbirds offering Beth a one-year contract.
Devastatingly, her time in Australia would begin on the treatment table as she ruptured her ACL in 2018 VNSL Grand Final.
Speaking to Zara Buck on Netball Natter, Beth discussed the highs and lows of that year: “Yeah, it was a funny year really because the Commonwealth Games were just so amazing and the build-up to that was really good and the season was good as well when we got back,” she said.
“I remember getting to a point where I was like oh my god I’m so tired and the last couple of games I remember feeling tired. But it’s just a shame really, that last game I just think if I had got through that last and we then had a month off so if I just got through that game it could’ve all been very different.”
Having completed her recovery and featured in the Thunderbirds’ opening three matches of the 2019 campaign, she suffered the same injury once again meaning she would miss the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool.
It was the third time Beth ruptured her ACL – having also done it as a 17-year-old – so it required a remarkable display of resilience to return stronger yet again.
“I just didn’t even consider it happening again really so I think it was more the shock of it happening again than anything. So yeah, it’s been hard to sort of mentally get back this time,” she explained.
“Physically you’re training all the time and I like training and I like being an athlete so that side of is not as bad, I think it’s just been more the mental challenges this time.
“But I’m just lucky I’ve got such good support around me and everyone’s helped me to get back really because it wouldn’t have been possible really without all the staff and everyone supporting me.”
The University of Manchester graduate is injury-free and back at Lightning hoping to go one step further than the two Grand Final defeats she endured in her previous spell with the franchise.
And having returned to the Vitality Roses lineup, Beth will aim to once again consolidate her place in the squad ahead of England’s defence of their Commonwealth title in front of a home crowd in Birmingham in 2022.
“I want to get myself back playing and to be able to just play week in week out and just have those games and start building again. I felt like I was at a good point when I got injured where I felt like I was finally starting to sort of improve and I could see the development in my game and I feel like I just want to try and get back to that and keep pushing on,” she told Zara.
“Long-term my goals are all still the same, I want to go to the Commonwealth Games, I want to go to the World Cup. So yeah, they’re obviously ambitious goals but it’s baby steps and I’m just trying to focus on the short-term for now.”
We’re delighted to see Beth back in the red dress!