Serena Guthrie and Jo Harten named in England netball squad for 2020-21 season

Fiona Tomas
·2-min read
Serena Guthrie in action for England against South Africa - GETTY IMAGES
Serena Guthrie in action for England against South Africa - GETTY IMAGES

Serena Guthrie and Jo Harten are among several high-profile names to rejoin the England programme after Jess Thirlby unveiled her 24-strong squad for the 2020-21 season.

The pair were part of a wider group of senior players who stepped away from international netball last year after England narrowly missed out on making the World Cup final in Liverpool, where they won bronze. 

Commonwealth medallists Geva Mentor, Helen Housby and Chelsea Pitman, who also took time out from England duty after the tournament, are named in the full-time programme, along with Jade Clarke, the country’s most capped netballer.

A third of those selected currently play in Australia’s professional Suncorp League, including Kate Shimmin, the former Australian defender who switched allegiance in August last year and who qualifies for England through dual citizenship.

Commonwealth champions Beth Cobden and Jodie Gibson also feature, while there is a return to the programme for Kadeen Corbin.

Jess Thirlby, the England head coach, said: “It is wonderful to see some experienced names coming back into the programme after taking a well-deserved break following the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup, including the likes of Jo Harten and Serena Guthrie. 

“We have a real mix of new and experienced talent in this group, from rising stars like Razia Quashie, to Jade Clarke who has 176 caps for England under her belt. 

“It’s a really strong and diverse group to be working with, which is exciting and shows the strength in depth we have in character and ability.”

Players unable to commit to the full-time programme, which first launched in 2016, could still play for England via the 'P3' process whereby athletes can trial for internationals, depending on season and employment criteria.

This includes Commonwealth gold medallist Eboni Usoro-Brown, who is expecting her first child, and Sasha Corbin, the older sister of Kadeen.

Fixtures for the next international season have not yet been confirmed due to the coronavirus outbreak, although England Netball is planning for a number of return-to-court scenarios for its domestic competition, the Superleague, which was abandoned in the wake of the pandemic. 

Thirlby added: “We are working hard to establish clarity regarding what will happen with 2020-21 international fixtures due to the current climate and as soon as we can safely all come back together, we will be raring to get back out there in front of the netball family.”

England full-time players: Serena Guthrie, Jodie Gibson, Vicki Oyesola, Razia Quashie, Imogen Allison, Gabriella Marshall, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, Kadeen Corbin, Natalie Panagarry, Beth Cobden, Francesca Williams, George Fisher, Jade Clarke, Yasmin Parsons, Eleanor Cardwell, and Laura Malcolm

Roses Futures programme: Halimat Adio, Olivia Tchine, Imogen Allison, Amy Carter.