ENGLAND international Stacey Francis put the disappointment of missing out on a medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games behind her by coming back to her grassroots last Wednesday.
Francis completed a masterclass defensive coaching session with the senior squad at Ryland Netball Club ahead of their first Premier League netball match.
Francis, who was part of the England women’s squad which was pipped to a medal in the Glasgow Games following a 52-48 defeat to Jamaica in the bronze medal match, was delighted to see how the club had developed and was surprised to see so many familiar faces.
Netball legend and MBE Sheila Perks was there to welcome Francis, whom she had coached over ten years ago.
“Sheila played a massive part in my success. She saw potential in me as I did not start playing netball until I was 14,” said Francis.
Ryland have approximately 150 members of all ages who train on Wednesday nights at the Ryland Centre and Bromsgrove School.
Newly-appointed head coach Amie O’Meara was delighted to welcome Francis for the evening.
“It was a great night for the club. We have so many talented youngsters who were so thrilled to listen to Stacey’s story of how her netball journey started right here at Ryland Netball Club,” she said.
“Stacey played with a number of senior players still playing in the club now including senior premier team captain Sophie Baxter, who has also just returned from the Commonwealth Games as coach of the Wales international team.”
Ryland are looking for more volunteers to help at the club in a coaching or administration capacity. If you would like to get involved in a local sport then please contact Amie on 07590 517844 or e-mail email@example.com.