BOURNEMOUTH’S Geva Mentor will be hoping her inside knowledge can help England’s netball team end the dominance of Australia and New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games.
Goalkeeper or goal defence Mentor, 29, lifted the ANZ Championship – the world-renowned top flight for clubs in Australia and New Zealand – with Melbourne Vixens last month before being crowned their most valuable player.
But her attentions now turn to Team England’s quest to break the historic stranglehold of the two powerhouses, the only nations to have won netball gold in Common-wealth Games history.
The former St Peter’s School pupil won bronze medals with England in 2006 and 2010 and featured as a rookie in the team which came fourth in Manchester in 2002.
Mentor and her colleagues, seeded third for the 12-team event at Glasgow 2014, have been drawn in Pool B alongside 2010 silver medallists Australia, South Africa, Wales, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados, avoiding double champions New Zealand and much-fancied Malawi.
Teams play each group opponent once at the Scotland Exhibition and Conference Centre, with the top two qualifying for the semi-finals before competing for medals..
England’s campaign begins against Wales tomorrow (11.30am) before tackling the Aussies on Saturday (9.30am). After playing South Africa on Sunday (5pm) and Trinidad on Tuesday (9.30am), their final group clash against Barbados takes place on Wednesday (7pm).
Teams finishing outside the top two will play off against the side which finished in the same position in the opposite group to decide the lower classifications next Thursday and Friday. The semi-finals take place on Saturday, August 2 with the medals decided the next day.