On Thursday 27 February, Wales Under 21 traveled to the Isle of Man for two fixtures against the Manx senior and Under 21 teams. The games were held as part of the island’s hosting of the Netball Europe U17 Challenge tournament, at which Welsh umpire, Becky Scott officiated.

Led by head coach Nikki Lloyd, Wales U21 recorded two solid wins against their hosts. Wales U21 beat the Isle of Man U21 side 86-31 and then went on to beat their host’s senior side 72-28.

Lloyd reflected on the successful visit to the Isle of Man, she said: “The opportunity to travel to the Isle of Man with a squad of 15 athletes from the newly selected Under 21 long squad in a World Youth Cup qualification year was excellent. It gave us the opportunity to expose athletes and management to all aspects of travelling for competition.

“An early start on Thursday and smooth journey to the Isle of Man enabled us to have a full day of preparation and allowed us to spend some time getting to know each other. This included venue familiarisation and a short training session, with a busy schedule ahead of us.

“Having two games so close to one another meant that we were able to expose the whole squad and the results showed the intensity, determination and confidence of the athletes.

“It was a very successful trip with numerous special moments for a number of athletes especially those making their debuts and having family watch them play for Wales for the first time. 

“This is a really exciting long squad and the quality of the performances and team connections already on show so early in the year is a reflection of the hard work and success of the programmes they have come from. It also puts us in a good position to build on ahead of Netball Europe in October and the Netball World Youth Cup.

“We would like to thank our hosts from the Isle of Man, the family and friends that supported us, as well as the umpires and officials without whom these events could not happen. I am also grateful to our team manager, Louvain Lake for all her work and support organising and throughout the trip – it was first class.”

Photo (C) Vannin Photos 2020.