Vitality Rose Geva Mentor to retire from international netball after the World Cup

Vitality Rose Geva Mentor CBE has confirmed that she will be retiring from international netball following the conclusion of the Vitality Netball World Cup in South Africa this summer.

Geva Mentor’s place in the Vitality Roses Netball World Cup squad was confirmed earlier this week, and her appearance in this summer’s tournament is now set to be her last for England as she hangs up her red dress after two decades on court as one of the nation’s longest-serving players.

Reflecting on her decision, Geva Mentor said: “To have represented my country and played elite sport for almost a quarter of a century is quite a personal accomplishment. No doubt one I won’t truly realise until the years pass!

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“The decision isn’t easy when part of me wants to power on and the other is like it’s time to step aside, be grateful for my experiences and allow the next generation to have their time to grow and shine in the red dress as I have been fortunate to.

“Since a young 14-year-old I was exposed to the England environment and as a 38-year-old now, it’s fair to say I’ve grown up in an environment which has undoubtedly shaped who I am today. A loyal, empathetic, innuendo-sharing smiling assassin, who’s stayed true to herself all the way through.

“I leave the Roses fraternity hopefully imprinting my mark both on and off the court and I’m eternally grateful for all who have shared the journey with me.

Last summer Geva Mentor wrote her name into history when she became the first England netball player to be named for a sixth Commonwealth Games; matching the international netball record with Latonia Blackman from Barbados.

Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby added: “Without doubt, Geva is one of the most iconic figures of our sport having re-written the history books so many times, not least with her latest selection for what will be her sixth World Cup campaign and twelfth major event in a career that has spanned 23 years in the red dress. It’s hard to get your head around and few people across sport globally can say they’ve achieved such an accolade.

“Her service and loyalty to the Roses is something we are both grateful for and very proud of. I was fortunate enough to be in the very sports hall at Team Bath as a founding player when she was first introduced to us at 14 years of age, and it was clear then what a special talent she was and would go on to be. Just a year later she got herself into a senior England team and aged just 15 made her debut against one of the world’s best shooters in Irene Van Dyk and has never looked back.

“To have circled back to now be in the privileged position as her Roses Coach is truly special. I want to thank Geva both personally and on behalf of the Roses for helping to put us on the map in world netball and for helping to change the game for the better.”

Geva began her England career when she was just 16-years-old, making her debut against New Zealand in July 2001. Since then, she has gone on to make 167 appearances for the Roses over 21 years, playing in 11 major tournaments and winning five bronze medals and an historic gold in 2018 at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Performance Director David Parsons added: “Playing at the top level for over 20 years, Geva’s longevity in the sport is astonishing. She has been an excellent ambassador for netball, not only in England but across the world and has performed consistently at the highest level across her whole career. In recent years, Geva has supported many of the younger players, the likes of Funmi Fadoju, and will leave an incredible legacy, inspiring the next generation of Roses.”

Thank you Geva, from everyone within the Netball Family.

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