Denise Evans caught up with Thunder captain Sara Bayman – who is in the middle of intense World Cup preparations – for a quick Q&A session. The 30-year-old was talking after England’s 41-65 win over an England Select side in Huddersfield.
Sara – and fellow Black and Yellows team-mate Helen Housby – will head out to Sydney at the end of the month, ahead of netball’s biggest competition, which starts on August 7.
As one of the most experienced members in Tracey Neville 12-player squad, with more than 50 caps to her name, Sara will look to draw on her time playing on the international stage to help England lift the World Cup for the first time.
How is WC preparation going?
We’ve been trying out a lot of different combinations in these warm up matches and in training. I think our basic errors have been letting us down a bit and that’s disappointing but at some point I know we will click and get it together.
The most important thing is to get us as individuals peaking at the right time and then that each of us compliment eachother’s game. When we get that all together, we’ll be a formidable team for anyone.
Tracey has tried some new combinations in the warm up matches, playing Serena Guthrie at wing attack for instance. How is that going? When the squad was picked there was only one out and out wing attack and that’s Tamsin Greenway!
But there’s a lot of players like Jade (Clarke), Serena and myself that can do a job in more than one position and that’s always been important to Tracey. Though Tracey has already told me I’m not going to wing attack, thank goodness!
We might need players to step in different positions during a match and we’re ready for that in defence, midcourt and attack.
Everyone is a excited now as Sydney is getting very close. We’ve all been working very, very hard and there’s such a buzz about heading out to Australia and putting our hard work in training out there on court in Sydney.
How is it going with Geva Mentor as captain?
It’s a little bit different and she has a new style to what we’ve been used to before but she’s the sort of player that always makes a difference in the squad and it’s working really well so far.
You’ll be playing at the Allphones Arena, in front of a mainly home Australian crowd. How are you feeling about that?
We’re not expecting the majority of the crowd to be behind us at all in Sydney so in a kind of sick way, I’m looking forward to it. There will be less pressure and even when it goes quiet in a 10,000 -seater arena it can be just as powerful as if it is loud.
It will be packed and the Aussies are crazy about their netball. We’re not necessarily feeling it yet but it’s good to e around the hype of the tournament, and all the media attention it will get.
Do you have a message for the England fans cheering out in Sydney and back at home?
Firstly thank you so much for getting behind us already, we really appreciate it.
We’re hoping all the ex-pats come out in force and support us and that there’ll be a Barmy Army of netball. We want the fans to be loud!
To those who are going out to Sydney and to those who will be watching at home, we really feel the support and it makes a huge difference.
We read all the messages and tweets and they are a massive boost, especially when you’ve had a tough training session. Keep them coming!