England netball captain excited for Copper Box Arena match

PUBLISHED: 09:00 20 November 2016

England's Ama Agbeze in action (Picture: Nigel French/PA)

England's Ama Agbeze in action (Picture: Nigel French/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Leading England out at the Copper Box Arena will, by her own admission, be an emotional experience for Ama Agbeze.

“I’ve had a topsy-turvy netball journey,” she said.

“To be able to lead my country out, I’ll have to try and hold it all together.”

The Roses take on Jamaica at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park venue on Tuesday, November 29 in the first of a three-match series.

The sold-out game will be the second time the national side will have played there this year, following a 55-41 loss against Australia in January.

“It’s a great place to play,” Ama said. “The fans are close to you, so it’s both large and intimate.”

Ama was part of the England team that reached the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games in 2015, and the 34-year-old is hopeful that she can represent her country at more major tournaments.

“There’s the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the Netball World Cup the year after that, which is in Liverpool,” she said.

“We’ve had World Cups in the UK before, but it’s really taking off now, and I know from playing in Glasgow what having home support can do.”

She has spent several seasons playing club netball in Australia and New Zealand, where the sport is hugely popular.

“All the games are televised, and I’d be in the supermarket the day after, buying my milk, and people would come up to me talking about the match,” she said.

“Here, I get people asking me what I do, and when I say netball, people say, that’s your job? Nobody asks Wayne Rooney if football is his job.”

But Ama is optimistic for the sport’s future.

“I think it is getting bigger over here every year, though,” she said. “Twenty years ago, nobody thought of netball as a career.”

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