This years Six Nations has so far left fans disappointed as they’ve failed to see the Scottish side secure international triumph; but another lot of budding young hopefuls are gearing up to make their country proud this year.
The 9th of March will see the under-17 European netball championships kick off and the twelve talented schoolgirls who have been selected couldn’t be more excited at the chance to give the home crowd their wish; an international trophy.
The tournament being played across three days at Glasgow’s Kelvinhall will see the performance squad take on England, Northern Ireland and Wales as they battle to be crowned the European champs.
The opening Friday will see the girls challenge the auld enemy, England, in their bid to win.
Centre court player Rebecca Munn, 16, from Greenock is being given her first cap this year for Scotland Netball, she said: “I feel very proud ‘cos its something I’ve always wanted from a young age and sometimes I can’t believe I’m getting the opportunity to do it.
“That first game will be hard because it will bring so many new challenges but at the same time it’s all really new and exciting.”
Getting her second cap at the championships is shooter Jo Pettit, 16, who is in her 5th year at Peebles high school. Hi flying Jo, who hopes to study medicine as well as representing her country, can’t wait to have a Scottish home crowd behind her this year: “It’s a massive honour to represent your country and with home crowd and home support it makes you all the more excited for it.
“The atmosphere in Glasgow will be amazing and I just hope to play my absolute best.
Being one of the teams shooters Jo has the added pressure of making sure that every shot she takes counts to fight off the competition but last years experience has made her confident Scotland U17’s can be in it for the win: “Last year I had the experience of having to know what the pressure is like of being a shooter, you just have to train yourself not to let the pressure get to you and do your job and in my case that is to get that ball through the net.”
With Glasgow 2014 ever looming some of these girls will be looking to the future as the National Thistle’s netball squad will be decided for the commonwealth title. The competition looks set to further not only Glasgow as a sporting capital but to improve the quality of its sporting youth.
Netball Scotland Chief Executive, Maggie Murray said: “I envy the Netball Europe experience our U17′s are about to have – these valuable opportunities to compete against the best in European netball is for some, the first time other national athletes will force them to excel.
“I look forward to seeing them rise to the challenge.”
Jo added: “We’re going to make our home crowd proud. We’re going to win all of our matches, it’s what we’ve been training for all year round.”