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Manchester Thunder’s Metcalf ready to lead England to Commonwealth Games glory

Manchester Thunder attacker Nat Metcalf is relishing the chance to put on Team England colours again at this summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Metcalf, who was part of Thunder’s invincible side in this year’s Vitality Netball Superleague, represented Team England for the first time on the Gold Coast in 2018 as they scooped top prize.

And now the newly-appointed captain can’t wait to get out there and go for gold again.

“It’s such a true honour and privilege to be able to put on the red dress on every occasion,” said Metcalf.

 

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“But to put it on representing Team England at the Commonwealth Games, it’s the pinnacle of our sport.

“We love that it’s a multi-sport event and getting netball in there is phenomenal, so we are massively excited.

“We’re training really hard in our prep camp and working really hard in training, it’s just so exciting and there’s a real buzz within the group.”

England claimed gold in the most dramatic of circumstances in 2018, as Helen Housby’s last-gasp goal sealed the country’s first-ever netball gold medal.

 

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Metcalf came on as a fourth-quarter substitute in the gold medal match, and had one of the best seats in the house for Housby’s winning goal but now arrives in Birmingham as one of the key cogs in head coach Jess Thirlby’s machine.

“We definitely want to put our best foot forward and for us it’s about enjoying the journey and trusting the process,” added Metcalf.

“We want to compete to the best of our ability so it’s about going game by game, working as hard as we can in training each and every day, turning every page in the book, leaving no stone unturned, and hopefully playing the best netball we can.”

Metcalf is one of seven 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague players in the squad, with the likes of Team Bath’s Layla Guscoth and Jade Clarke of Leeds Rhinos also lining up in red this summer.

They are part of a squad already inspiring the next generation of netballers with their performances, something that will only increase should they clinch successive golds.

It would mark a circular moment in Metcalf’s career, as she turns from inspired to inspiration.

“I went to an England game and saw Amanda Newton, who was the England captain at the time, in a match in Manchester and I saw her play and thought she was phenomenal,” recalled Metcalf.

“It’s funny really because she was a defender and I play in the attacking end but I just saw her as a youngster growing up and just thought she was incredible.

“There’s also Olivia Murphy, Tamsin Greenway who I’ve always looked up to and adored how they played.

“Olivia is one of our technical coaches at the camp now, she’s honestly incredible. I’ve been coached by and played with Tamsin for quite a few years.

“And then Amanda Newton I actually had a picture with her when I was about 14 and she’s handing out the trophies at the end of a tournament that we won and I’ve shown it to her since.

“It’s a nice memory for us.”

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