Guthrie nets England spot

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The 16-year-old wing-back/goal-defence won through her final trial in Sheffield at the weekend to gain selection for England under-17s.

Guthrie, who returned to the Island early this morning, said: ‘I’m happy but I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.

It was an excellent couple of days and we worked on many aspects of the game.

‘We then put what we had learned into matches and it was really tough because we played without the coaches.

‘They were watching us so we had to play and support each other and mentally it was very tough.

‘It’s going to be an honour playing for England and I’m really looking forward to it.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I went to my first trials last season and now I’m delighted to have come this far.

‘Last season’s experience has probably helped me.

I’ve trained and worked hard since and I’m going to continue to do that.’ Jersey Netball development officer Linda Andrews, who coaches Guthrie at the Convent club, said: ‘I’m thrilled for Serena, she has come a long since she was an 11-year-old when she could not get her footwork right in the early days! ‘But since then her progress has been amazing and it’s all down to her hard work and dedication.

‘Since first attending England training sessions last season I had no doubt Serena would make the final squad.

Every time she has returned from a session I could see the improvement in her.

‘She seems to master everything; she is a really exciting player and she deserves her selection.

‘We could not have achieved this without sponsorship.

EFG Offshore have been fantastic and their support has enabled Serena to get away as often as possible.’ Guthrie, who has been playing regularly for Team Bath this season, will train with England U17s at Loughborough University on 10-12 February.

The session is in preparation for England’s European Netball Association’s Championships (FENA) against Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar in Sheffield between 3 and 5 March.

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