With the Netball World Cup under two months away, Wales have announced the 12 player squad that will travel to Australia’s Allphones Arena and Netball Central venues within Sydney’s Olympic park.
Captaining Wales is the team’s current most experienced player, Suzy Drane. Achieving 66 caps so far in her career, and fulfilling prominent team roles in both Singapore and Glasgow, where the team finished in 9th and 8th respectively; Suzy has gained a much-needed understanding of what needs to be done for the team to have a successful tournament.
When speaking to Welsh Netball just after the announcement, Suzy said “It’s a huge honour to be invited to captain the Welsh team heading to Australia and I will be leading a highly motivated and well prepared group of players. Most of us have played together for the Celtic Dragons in Netball Superleague and the Welsh team for the past few seasons, so the team spirit and understanding is excellent. We had a really tough draw at the Commonwealth Games last year, being in the same Pool as Australia, England and South Africa, but we learned a huge amount in Scotland. “We’ve progressed almost beyond recognition since then and we will head down under hoping to fulfil our potential and challenge for a best ever finishing position. It is a huge tournament for the players, Wales and the sport as a whole and we intend to fully play our part.”
The captain is definitely right when talking about her team mates; between her and the eleven other ladies they share just over 300 caps! However, even in a team playing with so much maturity; players such as Georgia Rowe, Sara Bell and Lateisha Kidner have now made their claim as to why they should be in the side and are looking to make an instant positive impact.
Wales’s progressions since the Commonwealth games has been unequivocal and this World Cup is the stage they have been waiting for to take their results to the next level. Below you can find the entire Ladies’ squad before going into a bit more detail about their exciting journey:
PLAYER, CAPS, (POSITION)
Suzy Drane – Captain, 66 (Centre, Wing Defence)
Rosie Pretorius – Vice Captain , 18 (Goal Keeper, Goal Defence)
Lateisha Kidner 6 (Goal Keeper, Goal Defence)
Kelly Morgan – 18, (Goal Defence, Goal Keeper)
Stephanie Williams – 42, (Goal Defence, Wing Defence)
Kyra Jones – 26, (Centre Wing Defence)
Nic James – 40, (Wing Attack, Centre)
Bethan Dyke – 13, (Wing Attack, Centre)
Emma Thomas – 25, (Goal Attack, Goal Shooter)
Sara Bell – 3, (Goal Attack, Goal Shooter)
Chelsea Lewis – 42, (Goal Shooter, Goal Attack)
Georgia Rowe – 2, (Goal Shooter, Goal Attack).
Wales have one more World Cup Qualifier on this side of the hemisphere against England on the 8th of July at the Methyr Leisure Centre before travelling over to Tasmania on the 24th of July. Whilst over there they will play the Australian Centre of Excellence squad, Scotland and Tassie Spirit between the 30th of July and 3rd of August.
The ladies will then be fully prepared for the beginning of the tournament, where they have been placed in the same group as Fiji, Zambia and Uganda. With Fiji placed 7th in the current world rankings, just one place higher than Wales, this has all the makings of a closely-contested game.
We would just like to say congratulations to all of the girls who have been selected for the squad and we look forward to unveiling your kit before you go! You are truly another special member of the Samurai Family.