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Pechova nominated for prestigious award

Rising Netball Super League star Jayda Pechova has been nominated for the prestigious SportsAid One-to-Watch award.

Pechova is one of 10 nominees and is joined on the shortlist by the likes of powerlifter and Commonwealth Games medallist Mark Swan and rhythmic gymnastics star Marfa Ekimova.

The 18-year-old has swapped London Pulse for Team Bath for the 2023 campaign, having also moved up to the Future Roses programme for the 2022-23 season.

The defender is currently in New Zealand ahead of England’s participation in the Fast5 Netball World Series this weekend.

“I was so shocked. I didn’t even expect it,” said Pechova, who is supported through SportsAid’s Backing the Best programme.

“I feel like I’ve had a great journey this year, but I’ve never put it in perspective and being nominated made me realise how much I’ve achieved.

“It’s really exciting to know I’m going to be up alongside those kind of athletes in the future. I’m really proud.”

Pechova also paid tribute to her former Pulse teammates, as the London-based club achieved their highest-ever finish of third in 2022.

The youngster was promoted to training partner at the start of last season and grabbed the opportunity with both hands, particularly impressing in her debut against Team Bath.

Four of her clubmates made their debuts for England in the recent Uganda series including Olivia Tchine, who the Fleet native said had helped her get to where she is today.

“Working with those guys made me progress so much quicker,” she said. “Marking Olivia every day in training, I could feel my level going up and up.

“It’s helped me work on lots of different techniques defensively depending on the shooter.

“I’m more comfortable in those environments now and I know I can ask a question, I’m not embarrassed to ask if I don’t know!”

Pechova will embark on a new challenge next season as she moves to Team Bath, who have replaced London Pulse as the youngsters of the Super League.

Before then, Pechova will look to contribute in New Zealand and perhaps follow in the footsteps of previous One-to-Watch winners including Tom Daley, Morgan Lake and Caroline Dubois.

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