At just 17 years old, Izzi Phillips has already shown a level of resilience and maturity you would expect from an athlete twice her age.

She won bronze with Team England's Fast5 netball squad at Trinbago 2023, but only after battling back from a potentially career-ending broken leg.

The London Pulse prospect suffered the serious injury two weeks before captaining England at the Europe Netball U17 Championships, throwing her burgeoning sports career into doubt at the worst possible time.

It has been a long road back to full fitness but it was all worth it to celebrate a podium finish with her team-mates in the Caribbea.

"It was hard, there were times when I was sad because I was like ‘I don’t know if I can ever do this again’," she said.

"But having that support externally from those around me and all my teammates made me realise that I could do it and that gave me belief in myself.

"When I broke my leg it meant that I was out for the season.

"It was a heartbreaking moment, but it also meant that I learned a lot about myself and how much I loved the sport.

"It meant that I had to do all of the off-the-court work. All of the conditioning.

"I learned a lot about myself which made me a better netball player.

"I’ve had to put in a lot of hard work to even walk again, I wasn’t walking for a good seven months.

"Then being able to get back on the court, then being selected for something like the Commonwealth Youth Games such a short time after being out, it makes me appreciate netball and everything that I’ve been working for a lot more because I know what it’s like to have that taken away without expecting it."

Phillips returned to action as London Pulse won this year's under-19s NPL Championship, going from not being able to play a full game at the start of the season to winning a remarkable league title at the end of it.

"Team England selection has almost shown that the hard work is always worth it," she said.

"What you put in outside of netball and off the court will always pay you back on the court, and all that hard work has led me to this place, and that’s why it feels so much sweeter.

"I started walking again, after breaking my leg, in July, last year.

"We then had trials for reselection to get back into England in August.

"That was the first time I started running properly again."

"Starting this season, I was very nervous.

"I think it’s natural: I was very scared about would be as good as I was and would they still see me the same."

After a long and arduous journey back to the court, finding out she had been selected in Team England's squad seemed almost too good to be true.

"I was so excited," she said

"My parents were both around me. I remember opening up the email and just being filled with pure excitement, happiness, and disbelief to be honest.

"Obviously, I go to every trial, hoping to get in, leaving everything on the court.

"But at the end of the day, everyone is so good in the whole of England that anyone can get picked, so opening the email and finding it was me was one of the proudest moments of my life."

The netball prodigy has family in Australia and Jamaica, two iconic netball-loving nations. However, she was proud to represent Lewisham at Trinbago 2023.

"Big up South London," she added. "I’m so proud.

"I’m born and bred in Lewisham, I’ve been to school there, and it’s just an honour to get to represent that part of London in any way possible and shine a light onto it.

"Having family from Australia and Jamaica shows that I have a lot of roots in netball in terms of the big, top countries.

"It changed my style of netball.

"Going back to those countries, being older and not just as a little child, I get to see the netball out there.

"It’s almost like I get to take the tips and tricks of their styles and incorporate them into my own play.

"It’s a nice homage to my home countries that I get to carry on that legacy, but as part of Team England."