Blog 1 – Hello from Sydney

Ah jet lag, oh how I haven’t missed you. But being awake at 6am on my first morning in Sydney has its advantages when the sunrise is as glorious as it was.

The flight was far less painful than I’d feared, with only a cut thumb from the plane seatbelt and a 30-second panic when I realised I’d left my passport next to the hand-dryer in Hong Kong airport to contend with.

Disappointingly, there was no fanfare for England, or even netball fans when our Cathay Pacific flight landed in Sydney.
Do they not know netball is kind of a big deal!?

I’m staying in Hyde Park, which is a short metro ride to the heart of the city and with more fellow Roses fans expected over the next two days, the buzz and excitement for the next 10 days of world-class netball at the Allphones Arena is very much real.

I’m writing this on the eve of England’s opening match against the Scottish Thistles. From the little we have seen and heard from the players in training, they look sharp and sound ready for the challenge ahead.

Granted, an opener against the Scots should not be too much of a test, but interim coach Tracey Neville will expect intensity, high shooting percentages and limited errors, with a consistent performance for all four quarters vital for any championship-chasing team, regardless of who they are playing.

I’ve never been a big fan of making predictions, due to fear of jinxing the team, but I do believe this is the strongest possible squad available to Tracey, with each player capable of bringing something fresh on to court.

So, for that reason and to sign off my opening blog, I’m going to break my own rule and predict that England will make the final. But do I think they can win it? I hear you say. And I’d answer, absolutely, why not?

#uniteinred #Roses #NWC2015