T wo Epsom College netballers – Sophie Long (R) and Olivia Diri (M) – have been selected to join the U15 Surrey County Academy. This is an exceptional achievement given that 240 girls from across the county were competing for just 40 places. Selection took place over two days during half-term.
Girls from Years 9 and 10 who had been nominated by their school or club, or who had previously played for the Surrey U13 Academy, competed for selection. The first round saw the girls play invasion games which focused on game sense, as well as netball skills.
Nine Epsom girls made it through to the second round, which took place on the last Friday of the holidays in wet and windy conditions. Match play was the focus of the day with the girls playing an adapted game following England Netball’s Covid-19 modifications.
All of the Epsom girls played exceptionally well against strong opposition, with those unsuccessful only just missing out on a place.
However, U14s Sophie and Olivia really stood out with great attacking and defensive play to secure the admiration of the six Surrey selectors and gain a place in the academy.
Training will begin in January with the girls training once a week and competing in matches against other counties during the season. The girls will also be nominated to trial for Surrey Storm U15s who will compete in the summer in a national competition against all the other Superleague Franchises.
Sophie and Olivia’s selection success follows that of Lower Sixth, Kaylin Screene (R), who last month was selected to Surrey Storm’s U19 National Performance League Squad.
Mrs Beverley Bostock, Head of Netball Performance