29 November 2021

Netball: England U21 Roses Gabriella Marshall and Vicki Oyesola talk 2017

January 25, 2017

The U21 Roses are touring South Africa between the 21st and 29th January as they face Australia, New Zealand and the senior Roses team in preparation for the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana in July. After playing their own trio of matches during England’s home series against Jamaica at the end of 2016, Sportsister spoke to Gabriella Marshall and Vicki Oyesola about the team’s performances and their plans for 2017.


Despite losing two of their three matches – 53-51 defeat to Hertfordshire Mavericks and 49-45 to Wasps – they produced a stunning second-half comeback to beat Scotland 46-41 and both Marshall and Oyesola felt positive about how England had developed across the series.

Marshall said: “I think we’re happy with how we’ve grown over the series.

“We’ve really improved throughout each game and it’s just great prep heading into Botswana.”

Vicki added: “I think it was also really good that everyone who got out onto court put in a performance.

“We had a 12-man squad so we could put anyone on court and they’d do well.”

However, both players admitted that one area in which the U21 Roses still need to improve is in making the most of chances and taking the game to the opposition, particularly after turnover.

Marshall said: “I think we just need to be more clinical when we get turnover.

“For example, Vicki in defence, Summer, Fran, everyone’s getting the ball, we just need to be more clinical with it throughout the court and making sure that we punish the other team.

“For me, it’s just about taking care of that final pass.”

One of the surprise moments – and definite highlight – of the U21s performances came in the second game against Scotland.

Oyesola was running out of seconds to release the ball so instinctively and creatively pulled off a successful post-pass!


Laughing about the moment and how much trouble she would have been in had it gone wrong, she said: “That was the first time – I probably won’t attempt it again just in case!

“It was just spur-of-the-moment as I had no options.”

From Marshall’s energetic and commanding midcourt displays to Oyesola’s strength in defence, the U21s certainly are on track for the Netball World Youth Cup.

While it’s already clear to see that some of the team could make the step up to the senior squad in the future, they’re currently all fully focussed on the challenges ahead with just six months to go until the World Cup.

Marshall said: “Everything we’re doing at the minute is just trying to prep for Botswana so we can put ourselves in the best position.”

Keep track of their progress on twitter:

Katherine Ratcliffe, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine





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