2023 Quad Series preview: England
THE 2023 Netball Quad Series is set to get underway this weekend, with Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa all set to battle it out in Cape Town, South Africa for the title.
In the build up, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look at each of the teams competing at the tournament and analyse their potential at this tournament.
In this preview we are taking a look at last year’s host England.
England came into the 2023 calendar year no doubt keen for a turn around in form after a less than ideal 2022. Although the Roses did defeat Uganda and Jamaica in their respective series last year, they lost the series to Australia and could not replicate their 2018 Commonwealth Games success at their home Commonwealth Games last year, coming away without a medal.
They have since started the year off in a great way, defeating Jamaica two matches to one in their most recent.
One thing in particular about that series that coach Jess Thirlby and her coaching team will be particularly happy with is how they went on to win the series.
Although England would not have been happy with how it played in game one, it came back and dominated in game two before overcoming a determined Jamaican side in game three. This showed that this team is capable of not only bouncing back after a poor performance, but can also win games no matter what is thrown is at them during it.
Speaking of that series against the Sunshine Girls, the squad that took to the court in that series is the exact same that is set to travel to South Africa for this series.
However, there are a few injury clouds hovering over the squad, particularly in the shooting contingent.
Eleanor Cardwell pulled out of the Jamaica series because of an injury she picked up over Christmas, and is no certainty to take to the court in Cape Town, while Jo Harten did not play either game two or three against Jamaica due to injury.
Even if one of these two does not pull up in time for the Quad Series, the Roses have a ready made replacement ready to go in Olivia Tchine.
The young shooter really made the most of her opportunities in the Jamaica series, and slotted into the goal shooter role without any issues.
Funmi Fadoju will also be looking to continue her great recent form at international level that started last year against Australia and continued into the Jamaica series.
Imogen Allison, Ellie Cardwell, Jade Clarke, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Funmi Fadoju, Layla Guscoth, Jo Harten, Alice Harvey, Helen Housby, Laura Malcolm, Elle McDonald, Geva Mentor, Natalie Metcalf, Chelsea Pitman, Olivia Tchine, Fran Williams.