Team England Commonwealth Games Netball Squad: Meet the Shooters

Sophie Drakeford-Lewis of England Netball during Team Englands Birmingham 2022 Immersion Camp - July 23rd 2022 in Loughborough. Photo by Chris Reynolds / Team England

Jo Harten, Helen Housby, Eleanor Cardwell and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis will be aiming for nothing but net this summer as they step into the shooting circle.

The Commonwealth Games is a familiar stage for Harten (4th appearance) and Housby (3rd appearance) – both of whom were members of the historic gold medal winning squad in 2018.

After strong domestic campaigns and performances over the recent international season, Cardwell and Drakeford-Lewis will make their Games debuts in Birmingham.

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Describing the Team England shooters as a group, Head Coach Jess Thirlby said: “Our shooters are hugely competitive and between them, just match winners – they’re made for the moment.

“I think they’re very steely and won’t take any prisoners that’s for sure.”

Here Thirlby guides you through each shooter individually, showcasing how they make their mark on and beyond the court…

Jo Harten (vice-captain)

I think she’s often been described as a bit of a magician – she certainly is one! She loves the moment; she loves the occasion.

I think we all enjoy tuning in to hear Jo’s motivational speeches both pre- and during games. When she speaks, everyone listens.

She’s such a well-respected player across the netball globe now that we’re really fortunate that she’s one of our England players.

Helen Housby

Helen has made quite a great habit of scoring last-minute shots – it isn’t just 2018 when she’s done that!

Again, we’re really lucky that she’s in the red and white with us but also, she’s still so young and I think people have forgotten how quickly she’s become a household name because of magical moments like the 2018 Commonwealth Games final.

We’ve got so much more to come from Helen which is exciting in itself.

Eleanor Cardwell

Ellie’s had a brilliant couple of years. She’s embraced kind of developing not just her goal shooter prowess but also, her goal attack position and I think she’s arriving at these Commonwealth Games at the starting line in no better position that she could be in.

She’s had a fantastic domestic season, but she’s really made her mark on the international stage, in particular these last 12 months.

Sophie Drakeford-Lewis

Sophie is an incredible student of the game – completely curious to learn, so articulate.

She gets her head down and does what’s asked of her and I think with every opportunity she’s been handed, she’s grown more and more.

I’m really excited for her to be surrounded by such experience with those other shooters and the midcourt so great opportunity and one she’s really earnt.

The Team England squad will start their Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games campaign, as they look to defend their 2018 title, on Friday 29 July. 

Here’s a guide to the competition, including how you can follow all the action.

If you’re new to our sport and want to have a go yourself, we have programmes for everyone aged 5 to 95 from Bee Netball for children, to Back to Netball for those returning, to Walking Netball, a slower version of the game we love. Through the netball finder on our homepage, simply select play and enter your postcode and you’ll find a variety of sessions in your area.

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