U21 Netball Europe 'perfect preparation' for 2021 World Youth Cup

A young England side get their U21 Netball Europe campaign underway in Worcester on Friday evening.

Karen Greig’s team will face Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland in a bid to retain their title.

Ten of the athletes selected are part of the U21 long squad working towards the World Youth Cup in 2021 and this will be the first time they will be seen together at this level in competitive action.

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“Training has gone really well. This is the first U21 camp since the long squad for the World Youth Cup was announced. With Netball Europe, it’s our first tournament together and it will be nice to show off the long squad for the first time,” said vice-captain Alice Harvey.

“It’s massively important to put in a performance to show everyone that this is just the beginning and show that we can go out there and do really well at the World Youth Cup.”

Facing up against some of the best young talent in the United Kingdom will provide ample learning opportunities ahead of the World Youth Cup in Fiji.

The selected athletes will also come together on a monthly basis from September onwards at weekend camps in Loughborough, alongside Roses Academy Camps, and travel on numerous tours before the tournament.

“As a squad, U21 Netball Europe is a great opportunity to put ourselves out there against all the other countries and compare where we are at and see where we can improve,” said Wasps Netball’s Ruth Hughes.

“It’s just another stepping stone towards the Netball Youth World Cup. We want to take the opportunity to play together at a competitive level in preparation for 2021. It’s the perfect preparation, really.”

The Netball World Youth Cup will take place in the summer of 2021 in Fiji. In 2017, England won a bronze medal with a side including the likes of Fran Williams, George Fisher and Gabriella Marshall.

This current crop of young stars, which includes the likes of Futures programme athlete Olivia Tchine and Netball Europe Open vice-captain Zara Everitt, will hope to emulate, if not better, their success.

“We have had to make some tough decisions but I am really pleased and excited to work with this group of athletes working towards to World Youth Cup in 2021. They will face a number of styles of play over the coming seasons as we look to put in place the best possible preparations heading into the competition,” said Karen Greig.

You can get your tickets to support England at U21 Netball Europe in Worcester this weekend here.

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