Emma is flying with England squad

Emma Dovey from Leyland
Emma Dovey from Leyland

A Leyland netball star has joined up with the England squad for a five-test series in New Zealand and Australia earlier this week.

Emma Dovey, who plays for Northern Thunder and Oldham, made her international debut in April this year in the Netball Europe Championships against Wales.

The former Balshaws High School pupil has been training four times a week for the past month at international trials.

However, the 20-year-old was delighted to discover that two players were unavailable so she booked her seat on the plane in the 12-man squad.

Her dad Chris said: “Emma was really looking forward to going away to the competition.

“She is going to be away for three-and-a-half weeks and they were flying into Auckland first.

“Emma wants to show what she can do for England, and it is going to be difficult because she is the second youngest person in the squad.”

The talented centre has had to take time out from her studies at St Martin’s College in Lancaster to become a PE teacher to go on tour.

However, Emma has taken her books with her just so she does not get behind.

The ex-Cardinal Newman College pupil has previously represented England at U17 and U19 levels and her dad believes that it is just part of learning curve for her.

He said: “She seems to adapt quite quickly to playing at a higher standard.

“I think it takes a few weeks to raise her game but after that she starts to look comfortable as if she has been doing it for years.

“It has been a great achievement for her to make it into the main squad.

“Her main goal now is the Commonwealth Games in 2013 because netball is not an Olympic sport.”