It’s a big year with not only the Superleague as part of the Hertfordshire Mavericks but also the World Cup for England in August. How are you feeling?
I’m really excited. I’ve never been to a World Cup before and I’m going to work really hard to make it into that team. We’ve worked our whole lives for it, in a way – you wait for those big tournaments to really bring it.
And it’s in Sydney where netball is massive. Australia and New Zealand have dominated for years but England came within one point of beating both New Zealand and Australia at the Commonwealth Games – how do you feel about that now?
We were really disappointed but I just think we’ve had a massive learning curve from it and we’re just trying to deal with things better under pressure.
Training a lot and looking at our own physical abilities and what we can bring to the table and improve.
I just feel like this year is going to be a massive challenge and it’s all about the process and everything else should take care of itself.
When you say you are learning to deal with the pressure, how can you do that in training?
It’s definitely difficult. It’s all about putting people in different situations that they have never been in or situations that feel uncomfortable and I think probably that’s the most you’re going to get out of it because you can never simulate that exact same thing that you felt under pressure in a game.
Your sister, Kadeen, plays for Hertfordshire Mavericks and England too and your cousin Asha Philip is a GB sprinter – you all grew up doing a lot of sports between you, didn’t you?
Yes, we did gymnastics and Asha went on and did double mini trampolining and my sister and I went on and did netball.
We all did athletics at the same time and then excelled from there. So sport is definitely in the family.
You and Kadeen do a somersault celebration at the end of big matches, which is fun to watch.
It’s the adrenalin. We want to feel that excitement of winning and we want to get that back as a team, so it’s definitely something we’re going to be striving towards in terms of winning games consistently.
Maybe not so much the back flips but definitely the winning. Maybe at the end of the world champs…
All three of you have had bad injuries – presumably you were a big support to each other?
Yeah, Kadeen’s done her knee in – she ruptured her ACL and I ruptured my Achilles tendon and Asha did everything you could possibly imagine to her knees and it was all around a similar time.
We definitely did stick together through that time. When you have a dream and you really want to go for it you have to work hard and that rehab process is definitely the thing that made us want to come back and be stronger than ever.
Maybe if you hadn’t had that big injury and learned how to get over it you might now be trying to ignore any niggles and end up missing the World Cup because you push through.
Exactly. You need to look after yourself. Every player needs to manage themselves and look after their bodies and be fit and healthy as much as possible for the worlds and for the season.
The Superleague had some great publicity last year – even The League of their Own boys hilariously had a go at netball – you must be happy with that?
Yeah, it’s fantastic. More and more people are talking about netball, more and more people are coming to watch netball, and more and more people are getting involved in netball – it’s just continually growing. One million girls and women are playing each week in the UK so it’s just fantastic.
Sky Sports regularly shows live action from the Netball Superleague.
Sasha on Twitter
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