Emma Thacker achieves FOUR England caps at 15!
We would like to congratulate our member Emma Thacker for winning Netball Europe for England Rose U17s and achieving four England caps at only 15 years old! Below she has written her journey to achievements.
"I started playing netball in Year 2 at Ravenscourt Park Prep School, I had a brilliant netball coach who encouraged me, and the team and we were really successful winning our schools league and winning lots of tournaments. From Year 4, I always played up a year or two and in my final year we got through to the IAPS final.
I went to Boarding School in Oxford in 2013 and the following year trialled for Oxfordshire County Satellite and got in. Then followed London & South East, Satellite, County and Region, always trialling and always thinking I probably wouldn’t get through but always did! At the same time I played for a club in Oxford which was in the South Region, an area down to Southampton and up to Milton Keynes. My Mum and I have literally driven for hours and hours and miles and miles.
A few years ago the England Pathway changed and Satellite and County finished and if you were good enough you had to play for a franchise. I trialled at a new club called London Pulse set up by one of my original coaches, but as they played at the Copperbox it was too far to travel from Oxford so I said no. I was then worried so I spoke to one of my original coaches at County and she said come and play for us, so that was it! I went and played for Surrey Storm U15’s, a new team. We went to our first NPL tournament and lost ALL of our games, but we grew together and got stronger and last year at the U17’s NPL tournament we came 2nd!
Before that tournament, one of my coaches who was also an England Pathway coach put me forward for England Roses and she said that I had to prove myself at this tournament and that I would be watched and filmed and if I was good enough then England Roses might ask me to trial. I played my heart out at the tournament, and I got scouted! Within 2 weeks I was invited to the England Camp, I was later told that it wasn’t that I was lucky to get through but my every goal and all of my matches had been closely watched and there was no mistake that I was there.
At the February half term England Camp I once again trialled for an upcoming tournament called Netball Europe, a tournament for the England Roses U17’s to take part in. I got into the squad and we played at Huddersfield University against Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Emirates. It was an amazing experience, we totally came together as a team and we won the whole tournament! For the first time all of the matches were being streamed on Youtube and lots of my friends and family plus 100’s of people were watching, not just my Mum and Dad!
I am very proud that I have now gained my first four England caps, and am looking forward to whatever trials come my way next."