New lead confirmed for Central Warriors Player Pathway

Eliza Morgan has been named as the new England Netball Central Player Pathway Lead.

The Central Player Pathway is operated by England Netball and supports talented young players from across four counties to develop in a performance environment.

Last year, after Wasps Holdings Limited went into administration, the former Netball Super League (NSL) club’s pathway was taken on by England Netball and continued to operate under the name of the Central Player Pathway Programme – Central Warriors.

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The programme is made up of talented young players from Birmingham, Warwickshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire at U15, U17, U19 and U21 level, with selected teams competing in the Netball Performance League (NPL).

Morgan replaces Wes Blair, who will step down after four years in this role.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with England Netball,” Wes commented. “Whilst met with some challenging circumstances, they were faced with smiles, a level of determination and resolve that never wavered. This was largely due to a large group of fantastic coaches, volunteers and of course athletes.

“Whilst it will be sad to step away, I am safe in the knowledge that Central Warriors will be in good hands and will continue to remain competitive, building on the great work already taking place.”

Performance Pathway Manager for England Netball, Vladan Dragosavac added: “The Central Warriors Player Pathway Programme has experienced a very dynamic and challenging season this year. A significant effort was made to establish the Player Pathway Programme in a timely manner, enabling athletes from the Central Pathway to compete in the NPL and continue their development. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Wes and all the coaches and volunteers who dedicated their time and supported the Central Pathway.

“Their commitment and passion for netball and athlete development are instrumental in shaping a bright future for our sport. Their efforts are greatly appreciated, as they play a crucial role in nurturing talented athletes and helping them progress through the England Netball Player Pathway.

“It is my belief that Eliza and those within the Central Pathway will continue the success and growth of netball within the Central Warriors territory with their dedication and focus on programme development.”

In the 2022/23 season, the Central Warriors U19s won bronze and the U21s finished just a point off third place.

Three athletes have also been picked for the Commonwealth Youth Games with Sophie Egbaran and Isabelle Kaye selected to represent Team England and Phoebe Haynes selected for Scotland.

Eliza Morgan, a Development Officer for England Netball, a Pathway Coach for Manchester Thunder and Head Coach of YWCA Bury, will take over from Wes on 1 August but will be in attendance for the NPL Tournament from 27 – 30 July at the University of Nottingham.

Eliza said: “I am extremely excited to take on this opportunity as Central Warriors Pathway lead.

“I plan to continue with the amazing work that Wes and the team have already established to make the 2023/24 season a success and I look forward to developing talented athletes within the pathway!”

England Netball will continue to support the Central Player Pathway Programme in the 2023/24 season.

The Central Warriors are accepting applications for Pathway trials for their U17, U19 and U21 age group programmes in September. Find out more here.

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