England netball star Helen Housby tells Chloe Kelly to enjoy her moment after Lionesses success

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Netball - Netball World Cup - Third Place Play-Off - England v South Africa - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, Britain - July 21, 2019   England's Helen Housby in action   REUTERS/Lee Smith
Netball - Netball World Cup - Third Place Play-Off - England v South Africa - M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, Britain - July 21, 2019 England's Helen Housby in action REUTERS/Lee Smith

By James Reid in Birmingham

England netball star Helen Housby encouraged Lionesses matchwinner Chloe Kelly to drink in every minute of what is to come.

Housby was transformed into a national hero overnight in 2018 thanks to her last gasp goal in 2018 that clinched England’s first-ever netball gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Manchester City winger Kelly has similarly shot to stardom after grabbing the winning goal in the final of the women’s Euros against Germany on Sunday, and Carlisle native Housby encouraged her to soak up every second.

"I reckon she'll be more than ready for it,” said Housby, who plays her netball for New South Wales Swifts in Australia.

“All I can say is embrace it, enjoy it, because those kind of moments don't come along very often.

“Enjoy every little moment and just try to make them happen again."

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Housby is back in the UK to defend the gold medal she won in 2018, as England continued their perfect start at the 2022 Games with a 71-27 win over Northern Ireland on Monday.

The attacker shot 20 goals at the NEC Arena with 100% accuracy, and now feels she is back to her best in the shooting circle.

“My first couple of games, I felt like I hadn't really settled into the position, but it's always a little bit like that with tournament netball,” added Housby.

“Today felt great, though, and of course, 100 per cent [shooting percentage] is always nice.

“It's great to be able to influence the game like I did."

England head coach Jess Thirlby chopped and changed her seven on the court throughout the game against Northern Ireland, with only regular start Jo Harten not seeing court time.

And Housby believes the hosts are edging closer to distilling their starting seven, despite the embarrassment of riches at Thirlby’s disposal.

"We're definitely getting closer to knowing our strongest team,” said Housby.

“You've got to try out different combinations in a tournament like this, because there are so many games that you need to rest legs.

“But also so that when you do get towards the final, you know exactly what combinations you want to use."

England face Uganda on Tuesday as they look to continue their winning streak, and Housby is targeting recovery and a review of Monday’s performance before taking on the SheCranes.

“We know Uganda are going to come out really strongly and come out fighting, so it's up to us to make sure we do our research and treat them with the respect they deserve,” Housby said.

"For us now, it's back to the drawing board in terms of today, where we look at what we did and didn't do so well, and we'll develop ourselves as the tournament goes on."

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