By Milly McEvoy
Paige Reed reckons nosiness and curiosity reaped rewards after scanning the England squad list for their Vitality Netball International series against Uganda and seeing her name staring back at her.
The 25-year-old Gloucester star had been waiting for an email to land to see if she had made the Vitality Roses squad for the Fast5 Netball World Series in November, and she wasn’t expecting her England debut to come much sooner.
Instead, Reed, who is part of England’s development pathway, the Futures Roses, has been named in a 15-player squad for the Roses’ three-Test series against the She Cranes beginning on 5 October.
“We had an email go out on Friday for all three competitions,” the goal shooter explained.
“I was scrolling to look for the Fast5 squad because that was kind of more where, as a Futures group, we were looking to get selected for so when we got it in a separate email, I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll just see who's in the squad for the Australia one and the Uganda one’.
“For the Uganda one, I was like, ‘my name is there. What?’, I couldn’t believe it. So straight away, as soon as I saw my name, I had to just look away, look back and it was still there. It's in black and white.
“I was just not expecting this at all. Although I feel that I've obviously worked really hard and pushed myself as much as I could, I just almost thought that the Uganda series especially would be more for those that are in the senior programme full time.
“Just to see my name in that list. I was just so overwhelmed, overjoyed, just went through every single emotion within the span of like five seconds. It just felt amazing to see my name in that squad.”
🇺🇬 Vitality Netball International Series vs. Uganda
🇦🇺 Australia Series
🌍 Fast5 World Series
As @NetballWorldCup preparations step up, some new faces are set to take to the international stage for the Vitality Roses in the coming months 🌹
See who @JessThirlby has selected 👇
— England Netball (@EnglandNetball) September 20, 2022
Reed has also been selected for the Fast5 series in New Zealand but could well have pulled on the famous red dress before then, with England playing in Nottingham and London this October.
With a new call-up and a new Vitality Netball Superleague club – Reed has swapped Severn Stars for Leeds Rhinos ahead of the 2023 season – and she will be pleased to see a familiar face.
New Rhinos head coach Liana Leota played alongside Reed at Stars last season, while she has also served as a Vitality Roses technical coach since May 2021.
Reed added: “A big thing for me was Liana, I've loved playing with her over the last few years and I've always respected her as a player and now as a coach.
“She's always been like a mini coach along the way when we played at Stars together, so I just knew when she got her call up to coach Leeds Rhinos that it was definitely a franchise that I want to be in and that environment that I want to be in because she just creates such an impact.
“First and foremost, she's so approachable and I think that's what you need, especially going into a new environment of not really knowing a lot.”
Tickets to see the Vitality Roses in action against Uganda are still available from the England Netball website