It was a case of mission accomplished for England’s netballers as they stepped up their preparations for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games with a 14-day Australian tour.
The tour was designed to reproduce some of the challenges the squad will face at the Commonwealth Games, which takes place in October.
The 16-strong squad played and won all seven of their games, but as importantly, all of the players got court time and were able to focus on specific objectives set by the coaches.
The tour included games against Sydney Swifts and Adelaide Thunderbirds - two teams in the Trans-Tasman ANZ Championships, the Southern Hemisphere’s top netball club competition - as well as fixtures against less strong opposition.
“We were aiming to achieve consistent delivery of performances against teams of different levels. The coaches were pretty satisfied with what we achieved, although they will always be looking for more,” said Liz Bloor, team manager and England Netball’s head of performance.
“It was a demanding tour in terms of the number of games played, which will be good preparation for Delhi,” she added. “The objective was to give all the players plenty of court time against the Australian style of play, which we achieved.
“Some of the games were over six quarters and there was a lot of rotation of players, so we didn’t publish the scores, but we did win all of the games we played,” she added.
Commonwealth Games England will announce the netball squad for Delhi in August.
The squad will travel to Jamaica at the end of August for a two-test match tour ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
“A lot of people staked their claims for places on the Commonwealth Games team throughout the tour. There were a lot of strong performances in Australia and the selectors’ jobs will be a tough one, but that’s a nice position to be in,” added Bloor.
England took bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, beating Jamaica 53-52 in the third place play-off.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. They will feature 17 sports - archery, aquatics (swimming, synchronised swimming & diving), athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling. With the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Commonwealth Games England is entering a breath-taking four years of sport.

Commonwealth Games England (GCE) is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games.   England finished second to Australia on the medal table at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games with 36 golds, 40 silvers and 34 bronzes.

Sport England is responsible for building the foundations of sporting success, by creating a world-leading community sport system of clubs, coaches, facilities and volunteers. Their focus is growing and sustaining the numbers of people taking part in sport and improving talent development to help more people excel.
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