Talented young Team Bath Netball player Ella Powell-Davies has been named in the England U17 squad for March’s Netball Europe tournament in Gibraltar.
Powell-Davies, who plays in the National Performance League (NPL) for the Blue and Gold, earned her place after impressing at a selection camp and training weekend at the EiS Sheffield.
“I was so happy when I got the call-up,” she said. “It was quite overwhelming because I didn’t really expect it.
“I have worked really hard for this opportunity, so when I knew all that hard work had paid off it was a great feeling.
“I am looking forward to the whole experience but the fact we are going to be playing abroad makes it even more exciting.”
Natalie Peperell, Head Coach of the Team Bath NPL squad, said: “I have been lucky enough to coach Ella since she started at Regional Academy in Gloucester and now in the NPL.
“She has always worked really hard and given everything she can in training and in games. She is daring in her desire to win the ball and gives her all into going for a turnover.
“I have no doubts Ella will show what exciting netball she plays at Netball Europe, and, through her hard work, I look forward to seeing her progress up the ranks.”
Powell-Davies, who goes to Chosen Hill School in Churchdown, first played club netball aged 11 with Old Chelts in Cheltenham and was quickly selected onto the County Pathway.
She progressed to the Regional Academy Programme aged 15 and also joined the successful Gloucestershire-based Hucclecote Netball Club after standing out at summer trials.
Hucclecote coach Gilly Salter said: “Her work rate, understanding of the game and general attitude to learn was there for all to see. Hucclecote is a huge club but this did not put Ella off at all – in fact she strived to achieve and worked hard at every session.
“Everyone respected Ella and she certainly made a huge impact in every game she played.”
As well as captaining the U16 side, Powell-Davies represented Hucclecote in the adult leagues and quickly progressed to the Regional Performance Academy Group.
She led the U16s to victory in all of their regional matches and qualification for the national finals, where they finished ninth overall. She also caught the eye of the England selectors and was invited to join the National Academy Group.
The 2015-16 season has seen Powell-Davies push on again. She started it in Hucclecote’s Regional 2 Division squad and has now progressed to the National Premier League team, as well as being named as vice-captain of Team Bath’s NPL squad.
“All in all, the last two years have seen a huge turnaround in her development as a talented player,” Salter said.
“Ella is certainly a joy to coach and, with her determination to succeed, deserves the call-up to the England U17 squad. We wish her well in her first time out for England but know she is a star of the future and one to watch.”
Powell-Davies added: “I think joining Hucclecote really started everything off for me, it has been all up from there. Getting into Team Bath’s NPL squad has given me extra motivation and confidence, which really set me up for the England trials.
“I’ve been made vice-captain of the NPL team and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve this season.”
The Netball Europe tournament is taking place in Gibraltar from March 4-6, with England looking to retain the title they won on home soil last year.
Team Bath began their NPL campaign with an exciting 47-44 victory over Yorkshire Jets on Saturday.
They will next face Manchester Thunder at the Sports Training Village on Friday, February 19, ahead of the Superleague match between the franchises. It starts at 5.15pm and entry is free.