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Daily Record
Andy McGilvray

Netball: Scottish Thistles star hopes home crowd can help seal World Cup spot

Kelly Boyle hopes a loud home crowd can back Scottish Thistles to next year’s netball World Cup.

Thistles take on Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Wales over a five-day round-robin competition at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from today until October 6, with only the top two progressing to the finals in Cape Town next summer.

And the 26-year-old from Coatbridge it’s a great opportunity to progress as individuals and as a team.

Boyle said: “It’s great to have the competition at the Emirates and it does make such a difference – even if the crowd might not realise it.

“It does; when you see it when it’s going type for type and goal for goal the crowd really pushes you on.

“We’re lucky for it to be a home crowd, because our fans are absolutely incredible and they really do support us all the way, so we’re really looking forward to them being that eighth player during the competition.

“We’ll do the hard graft, but they can push us over the line.”

Boyle says the thought of qualifying can be off-putting during the tournament and Thistles will take it game by game, hoping that results in them progressing anyway.

She said: “It will be interesting. Obviously we would love to go, but for us it’s just staying focused and not getting too ahead of the game.

Scottish Thistle's coach Tamsin Greenway (Birmingham Mail)

“During this competition as a squad we’ll look to take it game by game, stick to our processes that we’ve been working on over the year.

“Since then the group has come together from the Commonwealth Games [where they finished ninth], so while we want to qualify, we need to remain focused.

“If we stick to our structure and our processes, hopefully the result takes care of itself.

“As a collective, we don’t want to get too ahead and caught up in the end result.

“We’ve still go games to play, so we’ll stay focused on each game as they come.

“It’s important for progress to qualify for as many major tournaments as you can, and that’s how you grow as an athlete and a player, being able to play against different structures and styles.

“It is a great opportunity to push us out of our comfort zone and progress us as individuals and a team.”

Boyle says having continuity in the squad from last summer’s Commonwealth Games helps, as they bid to win through.

She said: “It will be a first time out for most of the group since the Games. We’ve been training hard and working on things that we wanted to push on, that we discovered about ourselves, so this will be a really good opportunity to showcase that.

“There’s a good core of the group that has remained the same, and we’ve got new faces in, so it will be good to build those connections, and really see them flourish during this competition, because they’ve been really working hard and deserve this opportunity.

“There’s quite a lot of rivalry. We faced Wales and Northern Ireland recently there, and we have Gibraltar and the Isle of Man, so it will be a really good test for us to stick to our processes and combat what we really want to put out there.

“There are games that we want to target for us to qualify, so it’s about us doing the homework – they’ll be doing their homework on us – and making sure that we’re ready to go.”

Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport on Twitter via @LanLiveSport, like us on Facebook or find us on Instagram for the latest sports news, pictures and video.

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