Serena Guthrie opens up on how she shares her Netball World Cup reflections and handled the strain of captaining the Vitality Roses on home land.
From July 12 to 21, the Netball World Cup enraptured all and set a new benchmark for the sport’s pinnacle tournament, a standard which South Africa 2023 will vie to attain and eclipse.
The Vitality Roses’ build-up within this summer’s World Cup was a roughly one. The competition was eagerly expected and the strain around the shoulders of the squad was considerable after Quad Series performances and their Commonwealth Games victory.
Guthrie has been given the job of leading England’s 12-player squad and, currently over six weeks from the contest’s decision, the participant remains taking inventory of the 10 days.
“It still feels like a small surreal experience, the World Cup, because of how incredible it was,” reflected Guthrie around July’s championship in Liverpool.
“To have the ability to stand up on a podium at the end of what was this extreme tournament for us [was incredible], especially after losing Layla (Guscoth) and quite much going for 75 per cent of the tournament with 11 players, that took a significant toll on us. The manner in which the team got through this and stuck together has been amazing.
“Then you’ve got the crowds that were just mad, we felt like rock stars for two weeks which was amazing! It had been an wonderful experience and it’s still sinking in a great deal.”
Guthrie was announced on May 23 by then-head trainer Tracey Neville as captain. At the time, the way in which the mid-court participant led the Roses was commended by Neville.
“If she entered our programme July she brought a new degree. She attracted a job that we didn’t have, she attracted a direction,” commented Neville on squad-announcement day.
“She trainedoff, off and around the court, and she led with her own performance. She takes our programme forwards, she sweats world course and talks out.
“She had been flabbergasted [once I told her she had been ] and I believe the phone call to her was quite emotional. I got very teary about it because it probably wasn’t something that she was expecting.
“With Serena, she probably underestimates herself more than anyone else. In our eyes she’s a participant. She’s a gorgeous person and so valuable as a team member.”
Even the Netball World Cup itself saw hardship is handled by the home side, alongside the tournament-ending injury, the devastation of a 47-45 semi-final loss of Layla Guscoth to New Zealand cut heavy.
Before the tournament the Roses had been clear about their target – being at the World Cup final in order to have a possibility of accepting glory – and failing to perform this hurt them tremendously.
But, Guthrie as the side as a whole, revealed enormous mental and fortitude resilience to come back and dominate South Africa over the day to take bronze.
“It was probably the most extreme netball experience that I’ve had, but at a very positive way,” Guthrie said.
“I asked myself quite a few questions going into the tournament concerning how I was planning to attempt to manage everything and what my strategy was going to be. It is fair to say that I wanted to attempt to stay true to Serena because I could be and simply have a whole lot of fun along the way.
“It was making sure that I was really comfortable in who I was as a individual and that certainly let me direct through this kind of intense experience. It turned out to be a good; it turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience also.”
The 2019 Netball World Cup, the edition of this championship, was hailed as an extraordinary showcase for the game and one which continued to place netball about the map, both in England and across the world.
We were enraptured by nations like Zimbabwe with their play on court and also the service they received in their fans.
The eventual champions New Zealand amazed by using their bounce and, general, Guthrie believes has further improved the foundations of the sport for the future.
“I presume we had a contest such as that to show the UK and England just what netball is all about,” she explained.
“It was not just about England Netball that tournament, it had been about showcasing netball along with also the very best athletes in the world, coming together and enjoying their style of netball into the top of the ability.
“I believe everybody did that and it felt just like a massive party of sport and of women in game also.
“we’ve been moving gradually and slowly advancing in terms of the sport over the previous couple of years however I think that the World Cup can help accelerate the evolution of netball and hopefully the development of this Superleague as well.
“The leagues today have to acquire better so that we can have more women training and hopefully experiencing what we did in the World Cup.”
For Guthrie the time since the World Cup was action-packed. She has settled back in the home and has flown head into a wealth of different matters when it comes to her private life.
“It has been enjoyable. To come back from such an experience at the World Cup into Bob [Guthrie ] also and opening up his cafe hoping to reestablish a house from top to bottom, has been interesting!
“However, I do not really know life any other way than in a thousand miles an hour, so it did not feel too much from home! It has been a very fun summertime.”
As summer starts to turn into autumn, netball will return to Sky Sports using the British Fast5 All Stars Championship and we are going to continue to hear from many players seeing their routes and everything that may involve.
For the time being, this World Cup’s memories remain within our minds and Guthrie will remain to let such a distinctive tournament sink .
Netball is back in your displays in October using all the Fast5 All Stars Championship. We will cover all this off-season’s turns and twists since the Vitality Netball Superleague teams form their squads for the 2020 period, which you may follow on Sky Sports.

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