Island duo enjoy Superleague shot

LILY JONES and Anya Le Monnier remain steadfast in their aim to reach the summit of English netball after appearing for Team Bath’s Superleague squad.

Anya Le Monnier Picture: CLARE GREEN/MATCHTIGHT
Anya Le Monnier Picture: CLARE GREEN/MATCHTIGHT

The Jersey duo were handed an opportunity to play for the club’s elite squad in a live-streamed game against Severn Stars on Saturday, having both left the Island in recent seasons to set up base in the West Country.

The pre-season fixture, which was void of the likes of Serena Guthrie due to international commitments, ended in defeat for Bath but for 17-year-old Jones in particular it was a superb chance to gauge her path to the senior game.

‘It was a really good experience to be in that environment and playing against different people outside my own age group,’ Jones explained. ‘It was a good, physical game and it has definitely helped me improve as a player. It was also nice knowing that Linda Andrews, and a lot of other people who have helped me be where I am today, were watching back at home.’

The former Team Jets junior missed an England under-19s training camp to appear in the game, but another opportunity is on its way in February.

‘The aim is to keep pushing on as much as I can and hopefully get into the England Roses academy squad,’ she said. ‘Every bit of training and experience with the Superleague squad will help with that.’

The contest was more routine for former U21 captain Le Monnier – now in her second season as a training partner in Bath’s senior squad – but still represented an opportunity to impress.

‘With everything that is happening with Covid there is talk of them opening up the squad size from 15 to 20, which would put me in with a chance of selection for every match,’ Le Monnier explained.

‘I got my Superleague debut last year against Jamaica, in the starting seven, and since then I’ve had a lot of opportunities to play at that level and play in the squad, which has been good. It’s nice training alongside Serena now and it’s also nice to have more Jersey girls coming up through the system.’

Alongside Jones, former Jersey College for Girls student Bella Valeur-Adu is also targeting a place in the Roses’ academy for 2021.

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