England netballer eyes Kiwi success as perfect platform for Worlds
LOUISA Brownfield admits England can forget all about World Netball Championship glory unless they claim the scalp of commonwealth champions New Zealand in this month's three-game series.
ON A MISSION: Louisa Brownfield insists England must show their worth against New Zealand if they are to succeed at the World Championships (SWpix.com)
Brownfield and co. re-confirmed their status among the world's top three netball nations in October last year by claiming bronze at the Commonwealth Games in India.
But the top two in Delhi painted an all-too familiar picture of Antipodean dominance with New Zealand and Australia having taken gold and silver now in all four of netball's Commonwealth Games appearances.
England have the chance to re-write that established order at July's showpiece tournament in Singapore - and Brownfield, 26, believes the stage is perfectly set for them to do just that.
"In terms of netball 2010 was the best year for English netball since I have been involved and it was a successful time for the team and gave us plenty to build on," said Brownfield.
"I think it is really important that we have these games against New Zealand as they are the Commonwealth champions and we want to test ourselves against the best.
"But everyone in the England squad feels confident that we can beat them and we have been slugging away at them for the past four years and it is now that we feel this is our time.
"If we can get positive results this January then that will set us up nicely for the World Championships.
"While the main aim is Singapore the preparation starts with these three matches and we all know that and won't be taking them lightly.
"Bronze in Delhi was fantastic but we were a little disappointed that it wasn't a different colour medal and we will be looking to take our frustrations out against New Zealand."
The three-game series will head from Manchester to Nottingham on Monday (Jan 17) before moving to the capital for the tournament finale on Wednesday (Jan 19).
And while Brownfield knows the visit of the Silver Ferns will not be easy she believes the England squad need to develop a consistent streak if they are to see off the commonwealth champions.
"I thought we played really well in Delhi and finished very strongly against Jamaica for the bronze and now it will be important to carry that over into the New Zealand games to get that consistency in our game," added Brownfield.
"It isn't good enough to put in just one good match - if we want to be the best in the world we need to put in consistent great performances and that is the next challenge."
For tickets to watch England vs New Zealand in the FIAT International Netball Series on January 15, 17 and 19 at the M.E.N Arena Manchester, Trent FM Arena Nottingham and the O2 Arena London please visit www.englandnetball.co.uk/