Netball

Thirlby sets tone for England medal defence

Jess Thirlby succeeded Tracey Neville as England head coach in July 2019

England netball head coach Jess Thirlby hopes her side’s training camp in Jersey can set the tone for a successful defence of their Commonwealth Games gold medal.

The Roses arrive in Jersey next month before the 2022 games in Birmingham.

“We don’t want it to be blip in our history in 2018,” Thirlby said.

“We believe that we’re good enough to be there or thereabouts from here on in really, which is exciting,” she told BBC Radio Jersey.

“It’s a real statement of our intent to give the players some space in a different environment and landscape to think through the journey ahead.”

The Roses are the third major sports team to use Jersey as a training base this summer after the opening of a new health club on the island.

The British and Irish Lions arrive on Sunday before their tour of South Africa, while Leicester Tigers will have a pre-season training camp and face Jersey Reds in a friendly in August.

England skipper Guthrie returns home

Serena Guthrie
England captain Serena Guthrie left Jersey in 2007 to join Team Bath

England captain Serena Guthrie comes from Jersey, but Thirlby says he had no idea that they were coming back to her home before she broke the news to her.

“Everyone’s assumed it was Serena that pushed for it, but actually I to got break the nice news to her and she was over the moon that we were bringing the Roses over to Jersey,” Thirlby said.

“I’ve worked with Serena since she was 14 and I know of Linda Andrews [the Jersey Netball Association president and director of coaching] and the impact she’s had both on Serena and netball in Jersey, and it’s really lovely that we’re able to come to somewhere where they hold both Serena and netball in great esteem.

“It will absolutely be our intention to connect and engage with the netball community whilst we’re over in Jersey and I think what a lovely story to be able to do that.”

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