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Pechova ready to land back in the NSL after whirlwind year

Even Jayda Pechova finds it difficult to comprehend what she has achieved on a netball court.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a whirlwind year last season, which started with a first full Super League contract and ended with an England debut and elevation to the full-time Roses programme.

That is a lot for anyone, never mind someone so young but the Team Bath star is happy to take it all in her stride.

“I’m just kind of going with the flow,” said Pechova. “Then I look back and think, ‘wow’; I wouldn’t have thought this wouldn’t have happened this last year that I would have made my Roses debut.

“It’s nice to just stop and actually have a look at how far I’ve come, what’s got me here and all the people who have supported me.”


Pechova’s rapid rise meant she spent much of the off-season in England colours, rubbing shoulders with players she had sat watching less than two years ago.

A debut against New Zealand in the Taini Jamison Trophy last September has been followed by another five caps and the teenager is determined to soak up as much as she can from such an elite environment.

“I’ve really enjoyed it, obviously learning off way more experienced players than me and getting to play with people that I wouldn’t have even thought of playing with this time last year,” she added.

“The coaches at England are just, great at telling you exactly what you need to improve on and just learning off other people and playing with different people.

“Playing with the likes of Fran Williams, who has now gone over to Australia to play, is just incredible.”

After a busy few months since the end of last season’s Super League, including a Fast5 World Series bronze medal, Pechova’s focus is now back on life in blue and gold, as Team Bath look to build on a ninth-place finish last term in Asha Francis’ first season at the helm.

 

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The defender is one of several exciting young players at Francis’ disposal this season, with Sophie Kelly and Phoebe Maslen both impressing last year, while Ellie Ervine and Emma Barrie have been added this term.

And Pechova hopes that youthful exuberance can help Bath continue their development on court after some stellar showings at the end of last season.

“Sophie, Phoebe, and I played together at club, so it’s nice having the girls I’ve known for years and getting to play with them,” she added.

“I live with Sophie and we are really good friends. Just seeing her play well, her long bombs are incredible, it’s really exciting.

“We’ve got a very specific culture, which I haven’t really experienced before in a team, but I think it is really exciting.

“As the season went on, we were just getting better and better and we’re building on that this year.”

Bath also welcome Tash Pavelin back to the court after the defender missed last year with an ACL injury, and Pechova is excited to see how the pair can combine in the circle.

 

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It is all part of the 19-year-old’s rapidly expanding netball education, which could also be set for some Geva Mentor-inspired late nights this year.

She added: “Tash has just come back and that’s what I am most excited about, getting to play with her because I got a bit of court time with her last year in pre-season and I was gutted when she got injured. It will be a great connection this year.

“I am also going to start watching SSN this year. I haven’t really watched it before so I have really only seen Geva Mentor playing for England.

“She’s a massive inspiration obviously with the amount of caps she has, the amount of experience and just being able to watch her every week, be on the same court as her, I think that would just be an experience that I can’t even picture right now.”

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