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Olivia Tchine helped London Pulse to a notable victory (Image: Ben Lumley)

Olivia Tchine might look like a fearless figure on the court, but she doesn’t feel like one.

The 21-year-old is part of the history-making London Pulse squad that has qualified for the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague playoffs for the first time.

And the young athlete has stated that being starting goal shooter is a little scarier than it lets on.

She said: “Obviously this season has been quite challenging for me. Being starting shooter has been very scary and I didn’t know it was going to be this scary. Apparently, I don’t show it on court but I’m honestly nervous.

“But I feel like the more games I play the easier it gets but definitely the more coach and teammate support it gets better.

“And the girls have been amazing this season. There’s been so much pressure on everyone and just supporting each other.

“But I’m still challenging myself and trying to shoot outside of my comfort zone.”

With an average age of 22, the youthful nature of London Pulse may be a challenge when it comes to experience, but it’s never slowed them down on the court.

And Tchine is adamant that embracing the youthful side of the club has played a hand in their season’s success.

She said: “In terms of being a young team, it’s actually pushed us more to prove ourselves and show. Yes, we are a young team but we can still do what the big girls are doing.

“Because we are such a young team, we have each other’s back even more because it’s new to a lot of us.

“It has been at times challenging, because we are all young and sometimes we get hit with something that’s not meant to happen but this is how it is.

“Even with the challenges, we’ve taken it with both hands and made it into something great.

“We’re a young team but that’s never stopped us and it will never stop us.”

@londonpulsenetball This squad 💗🖤 #netball #athlete #fyp #sport #London #Londonpulse ♬ High School – Nicki Minaj

Tchine has scored over 650 goals this season as starting shooter, with an accuracy of over 91% and she knows that the team’s abilities will be put through the wringer to secure a place at the Grand Final next Sunday.

“Training has gone up intensity wise, up by 100, Sam is killing us right now at training but we are enjoying it and we know that it’s important,” said Tchine.

“We watch the game and then we work out how we are going to tackle their defence, their attack and then adapt that into our training for match day so that’s why training has been so hard. It’s hard to play or act like another team.”

Tchine’s impressive form this season has seen her selected for the England Roses programme and dare to set her eyes on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

She said: “Getting selected for England, whether its Futures of Roses has always been like a massive blessing to me and I honestly hold it so close to my heart. It’s just a massive opportunity that when it comes you have to take it.

“This year being selected for the Roses is very exciting and I’m very nervous but my aim is to learn from the older girls so try to take little things that they do.

“My first year I just want to learn and soak in everything and then try and put that into my own performance.

“I’m just going with the flow this year and when my time comes in going to smash it.”
But for now, the shooting star is laser focused on getting to the Grand Final at the Copper Box Arena.

She added: “It’s just good to know that the coaches believe in us. When Sam tells us her plans in the future you look at her at know that she believes in us way more than we probably believe in ourselves and it’s just so nice to see.

“But right now we are so tunnel vision. Next season can wait, we want to accomplish what we want to do now and finish our job now.”

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