Olivia Tchine is relishing taking her baby steps in international netball, helping the Vitality Roses return to winning ways as they build to next year’s World Cup.
The 21-year-old has been a difference-maker from the bench so far in England’s three-match Vitality Netball International Series against Uganda.
Jess Thirlby called on the London Pulse shooter in the third quarter of the series opener to help the hosts secure a 60-51 win.
And with the visitors drawing level at 19-19 in the second game at the Copper Box, it was Tchine who Thirlby called on once again to turn the tide.
After her first couple of caps, Tchine is crystal clear on what she needs from her team-mates.
She said: “For me, what calms me down is having a goal attack who talks to me.
“‘Liv, you’re doing a great job, keep holding,’ stuff like that keeps me composed. I’d do the same for them. I just need to be spoken to.”
Tchine peeled off three quick goals in the closing moments of the second quarter to preserve the lead and was then a key part of a superb team performance in the third quarter.
The Vitality Roses emerged 53-45 winners to seal series victory with a game to play.
Tchine said: “Right now every combination in this team is still kind of new, but when we go on court it doesn’t look like that!
“We are still building the connections and the more we play together, the more we train together, the more we know what each other need.
“So far, so good, and we can only go up from here.”
Tchine has been amongst five debutants to step up onto the international stage this week, playing alongside London Pulse team-mates Zara Everitt, Funmi Fadoju and Ellie Rattu as well as Loughborough Lightning’s Alice Harvey.
She said: “The main difference from Superleague is the pressure. When you’re representing your country, it goes up a notch.
“But in terms of the actual play, it’s pretty similar. They’re all games of netball, no matter which defender I’ve got in front of me, my approach stays the same.”
Today could see the Vitality Roses wrap up an unbeaten series, starting preparations for the 2023 World Cup in South Africa in emphatic style.
Tchine added: “Every game we’re trying to put out a statement.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted at the Commonwealth Games but that doesn’t mean it’s over, this is just the start. We want to show we’ve still got it.
“Uganda are a really strong side and this is a good way to show we still mean business.
“I really want to stay in the group, it’s going to be really hard work, but I’m trying to grab every opportunity Jess gives me with both hands.”