SOLIHULL schoolgirl Lydia Cross has been selected to join the Under-17s England netball team.
The 15-year-old’s performance at the recent England netball national screening trials in Sheffield, outshone the competition and she was chosen as the sole representative of the West Midlands.
To celebrate, a delighted Lydia was invited to meet current senior England team member, Layla Guscoth, at the Futsal Arena in Birmingham, who told the Tudor Grange pupil to: “enjoy every minute you play.”
Playing for Division 1 Birmingham league, Lydia still trains with the Foxes Netball Club, based at Lode Heath School, where she began with their little league in Year Five. Now, after joining the U-17s, the teen has her sights firmly set on playing for her country as an adult.
“I love sport,” she said. “I’m hoping I can play for the England squad, it’s my ambition.”
And Lydia, who played tennis for the county before netball took over, doesn’t drink and sticks to a strict diet.
“I play centre, first position, and you are always running around. You have to be one of the fittest in the team.
“Thankfully with my tennis, it’s helped me to be fitter and I’ve always trained to keep my fitness levels up.”
Proud mum Julie Appleton, from Solihull, said her daughter’s dedication “will help to inspire other players.”
“I believe 100 per cent she has what it takes to make the England team,” she added.