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Lauren Tait of Surrey Storm.

Surrey Storm’s Lauren Tait has infiltrated enemy lines as a Scotland player plying her trade down in England, but also has seen an English influence emerge north of the border. 

The defender joined Surrey Storm from Strathclyde Sirens in 2021 and is coached at Storm by Mikki Austin, with Tait finding similarities between Austin’s style and Scotland head coach Tamsin Greenway. 

Tait is making her Commonwealth Games debut with Team Scotland after injury kept her out of Gold Coast 2018. 

“It’s really exciting [playing in England], moving down was a big move, I moved straight out of my Masters and I was ready for a bit of a new adventure,” the 25-year-old. 

“I had chats with Tamsin before I moved down, and Karen [Atkinson, Netball Scotland performance director] as well, to see how that would all work out.  

“And luckily, Mikki was willing to let me come into her environment. She’s an amazing coach herself, was also coached by Tamsin at one point and you can see some similarities in their style.  

“But it’s really exciting to get a new flair and a new look into netball in comparisons just quite a heavily based Scottish outlook into it.  

“And a lot of English teams play differently and they play and have different styles. So getting that experience, especially from a wide range of players from across the globe is amazing.” 

Some of those international Storm players will also be in action at the Commonwealth Games with Uganda selecting Peace Proscovia and Northern Ireland duo Emma Magee and Niamh Cooper also set to feature. 

Tait has been drawn in the opposite group to Uganda and Northern Ireland so will potentially only meet her clubmates in the classification matches, but if they do meet she will feel right at home. 

She added: “I’ve definitely got them saying ‘wee’ a wee bit more, trying to encourage them with a bit more slang and anything like that.  

“I think if anything they are making me a bit more English. I’m trying to fend that off as much as possible, but I catch myself going a bit more posh, a bit less Scottish when I am down in England.” 

While Tait is fiercely proud of her Scottish roots, she has also allowed some English characteristics into her netball, led primarily by Greenway. 

“Tamsin’s outlook on to netball is amazing,” Tait said. “And she’s able to read the game saw so well. It is absolutely amazing having the opportunity to be a player coached by her.  

“I think when we’re going into matches and everything like that, her style is quite unique. I personally have never been coached, apart from Mikki Austin she is similar to her, but prior to that I’d never been coached by someone with her style, and it is a really fresh outlook. 

“And I think although we’re obviously a Scottish team and want to stick to our Scottish roots, having that input from an England player and obviously a legend of the game is definitely a beneficial situation where we can’t be turning down that immense knowledge at any point.” 

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