Beth Goodwin expects this week’s netball European World Cup qualifiers to be fiery for Scottish Thistles and their opponents, as they bid for a place at the competition in Cape Town next summer.
Scotland tackle Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Wales over a five-day round-robin competition at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow from October 12 to 16, with only two sides qualifying for the World Cup.
Cambuslang star Goodwin says that will provide a bit of needle, with all of the teams believing they deserve to reach the finals.
The Strathclyde Sirens star said: “It’s always going to be a difficult one, when one of the top 12 teams can’t go.
“It just makes the competition a bit fierier, going into qualifiers, knowing we all deserve to be there, but there’s only two teams that can make it out of this qualifier.
“It just makes this challenge even more important, to go into this competition, that we perform well, and we finish within the top two.
“It’s huge for netball in Scotland. We want to be at every major event, competing and challenging the top teams in the world, and this is just another stepping stone towards that.”
Several of Beth’s Sirens team-mates are also in the Thistles squad, such as Kelly Boyle, Emily Nicholl, Emma Barrie and Niamh McCall, and she reckons that’s important, as they seek to build on their ninth-placed finish at the Commonwealth Games.
Goodwin said: “We’re looking forward to the challenge. We’ve had a good build-up towards the competition, so we’re looking to showcase what we can do at the Emirates.
“It gives us continuity and I think it has given us a chance to build on what we did at the Commonwealth Games as well.
“We’ve really gelled as a team, we’re challenging each other in training, and we want to build on performances that we had in the Commonwealth Games.”
Having home backing in Glasgow is also going to be important, and Goodwin added: “It’s amazing, playing at the Emirates with a home crowd behind us, that definitely gives us an extra boost on court.
“We want to go out there and try and show everyone what we’ve been working towards.
“Having the backing of the crowd is always a big help for us, on court.”
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