Wales’ under 17 squad of twelve along with their management team left Cardiff this morning on their way to Belfast. Led by squad Captain Gwenno Davies and Vice-Captain Milly Watts, Wales will face Scotland, England and Northern Ireland during the weekend.
Just four of the named squad of twelve have previously taken part in last year’s Netball Europe Championships. Eight players will be hoping to gain their first cap this weekend.
“We had our final camp last weekend and I am delighted to say we are ready,” says Wales U17 Head Coach Bev Powell. “Our goals have been set and the final camp was a great opportunity to fine-tune those areas that we identified as needing some tweaking to achieve those goals.
“The players have worked very hard and I am confident that the whole squad will strive to do their very best, which for many will be their first step on the international stage.”
Squad Captain Gwenno Davies will also make her debut to represent Wales, and says she’s thrilled to be part of the squad, and that being named Captain is the cherry on top:
“I was thrilled to be selected for Wales to play at Netball Europe, but being named as captain is a dream come true,” says 16-year-old Gwenno from Llantwit Fardre, Pontypridd.
“Leading my country on and off the court in Northern Ireland will be a huge honour for me, my family and friends.
“There’s a real sense of togetherness in the squad and we’re really enjoying each other’s company. We’ve worked extremely hard over the last few months to develop our skills, combinations and fitness levels and the girls can’t wait to get on court in Belfast.
“As players and as a team, you always want to be challenging yourself to be the best you can possibly be. This tournament gives us an opportunity to play against the best players in Europe and I can’t wait.”
The Wales U17 played a pre-Championship warm-up match prior to a recent Celtic Dragons Superleague game against Chester U16. The squad’s Head Coach Bev Powell describes how the “big match” conditions were invaluable to the squad in the preparations:
“The ‘big match’ conditions were perfect preparation as the players experienced the pre-match nerves they undoubtedly will have prior to their first match against Scotland.”
Welsh Netball wishes the squad and their management the very best of luck, and hope that they enjoy every minute of their campaign.
The squad of twelve are:
Gwenno Davies (Captain), Milly Watts (Vice-Captain), Elysse Haywood, Rhian Evans, Nikita Harris, Megan Gareh, Sapphira Fisher, Ellie Begley, Emily Davies, Macey Lane, Beca Hughes, Caris Morgan. Lead by Head Coach Bev Powell, Assistant Coach Rhian Davies, and Team Manager Sharon Walters.
You can find the full schedule of the Netball Europe U17 Championship on hosts Netball Northern Ireland’s website: http://www.netballni.org/contentPage/10018269/u17_n_e_t_b_a_l_l_e_u_r_o_p_e