Team England have today announced an experienced netball squad for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.
The squad includes Geva Mentor who will represent England at her fifth Commonwealth Games, Jade Clarke who will compete at her fourth games as well as captain Ama Agbeze, Eboni Beckford-Chambers and Jo Harten who will compete at their third Games respectively.
The team known as the “England Roses” finished in fourth place at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and have won three bronze medals since the sport was introduced to the Games in 1998.
Team England’s netballers head into the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the back of some of the best results in the team’s history with victories over South Africa and New Zealand helping them to their best ever finish in the prestigious Quad Series.
At the 2018 Games Team England have been drawn in Pool B alongside New Zealand, Malawi, Wales, Scotland and Uganda.
England captain Ama Agbeze said:
“The Commonwealth Games is a pinnacle event in the netball calendar; with all the top teams in the world in attendance. Our team have been steadily building to this point and we aim to return England's best result since netball's inclusion in the Games of Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
"We understand that this will be no mean feat, with the Games being in Australia; with its close proximity to New Zealand, both the number one and two ranked countries will have plenty of support on the ground. It is an exciting opportunity and we are relishing the challenge.”
Jade Clarke said:
“It’s a really amazing feeling to be selected. The competition for spots was fierce this year with so many players in great form. I’m just as excited about my fourth Commonwealth Games as my first. Representing Team England with the other sports and being in the village together makes the whole experience extra special.”
Natalie Haythornthwaite added:
“To be selected for my first ever Commonwealth Games feels absolutely incredible. It’s something I’ve dreamt about for years and to actually be able to say I am going to a Commonwealth Games is amazing. I still keep checking it’s actually happening – not just a dream. I am so honoured to have been selected and I cannot wait to see what we can all do out there in April.”
Head Coach, Tracey Neville, said:
“I think over the current international calendar all players stepped up in performance and there were some tough decisions made in selection. The 12 athletes selected offer us versatility, strength in particular court areas and units, and a wealth of experience with players who can lead the team from the front.”
Team England Chef de Mission, Sarah Winckless, said:
“I’d like to congratulate all the athletes on being selected for Team England. Netball is always one of the highlights of the Commonwealth Games and that will certainly be the case on the Gold Coast. I look forward to working with the group and supporting them to compete for team and country in Australia.”
The full team is as follows: