Youngsters net England caps
Tuesday 7th March 2017 @ 13:17 by Mark Phillip
Sports

Two players from Tameside Netball Club have returned from the European Championships in Belfast with gold medals.

Hannah Williams and Ella Standring were part of the England Under 17 squad which won successive matches in a three game series against Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland last weekend.

The girls, aged 17 and 15 respectively, were selected to represent the squad after impressing at trials in Derby at the start of the year.

 

Hannah (far right) and Ella (centre left)

Entering the competition as reigning champions, England began their title defence against Northern Ireland and cruised to a 61-19 victory, before making it back-to-back victories the following day with a 68-36 win over Wales.

The budding Roses capped off a memorable weekend and sealed the title on the final day with a 78-22 victory over Scotland.

Following the title win, Hannah, who claimed her first England cap at the tournament, spoke to Reporter Sport and reflected on the success. “The experience was great, especially considering I claimed my first cap at my first international tournament” said Hannah.

“To make my first appearances and come away with a gold medal is a fantastic achievement.”

The squad celebrate the title success

Hannah, who attends Crompton House College in Oldham, is hoping that she can maintain her international involvement next season.

But in order to do so, she will have to impress at trials in Sheffield this weekend. She said: “That’s the end of the under 17’s season, so this coming Saturday we have the trials for the new season.

“I’m currently eligible to play for the under 19 squad, so hopefully I’ll be involved in the tours next summer.”

Hannah, who has been playing for Tameside Netball Club since 2008, believes that her recent performances will help her succeed at the forthcoming trials. She added: “I will be one of the younger players’ trialling, but I’m happy with how I performed at the tournament and as long as I come away feeling the same about the trial then there’s nothing I can do, so I’m hopefully going to put in the same performance as I did last weekend.”

The competition also gave Ella her first England cap.

In fact, appearing for England has made her one of the youngest players to claim the accolade.

Ella, who attends St Bede’s College in Manchester, said she was made up to win the tournament. “I’m really happy to have made my first appearances for England and even more so to win a gold medal” said Ella.

“I definitely knew we could do it, but I never thought we could do it in that manner.”

 

Flying the England flag

Ella and Hannah are looking to take their international form into their domestic campaigns with Tameside.

Ella, who plays for the Under 16 squad, is optimistic that her team can reach the final of a regional competition. She said: “We’re competing in a regional round and we’ve got the semi-finals approaching.

“If we win then we’ll progress to the nationals which determine who the best team in the country is.

“I’m really looking forward to it.”

Hannah’s priorities remain with the Premier squad, who have just been promoted to the top league in the country. “We’re currently sat in third position, which is amazing, and I think we’re all overwhelmed with it” said Hannah.

“People weren’t expecting the standard that we were putting out on the court, so it’s been great.”

In other news, Tameside head coach, Paul Harper has guided the Swiss Under 17 squad to Challenge Cup glory.

The team claimed the silverware after beating the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.