ENGLAND netball skipper Sara Bayman is hoping for a smooth transition when she leads her country for the first time today.
The Wiganer captains a new-look side in the first of a three-match series against World Champions Australia in Liverpool.
I want to to go on and play a style of netball where we attack gamesSara Bayman
And with the match at Echo Arena the closest to home for the Manchester Thunder ace, Bayman plans to set an example ahead of further challenges against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa this summer.
“It’s going to be good to really get stuck into it,” Bayman told Wigan Today on leading England for the first time.
“We have different players to the world cup but we
are trying to prepare the same. We’re aiming to keep consistency and try to bed in easily.”
England will go into this week’s series with a point to prove, having lost against Australia in the group stages of last August’s World Cup, as well as suffering an agonising last-gasp defeat in the group stages of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
But with many players moving on, Bayman insists England’s new-look side will face the World Champions as underdogs this week.
“If you beat the Aussies you’re doing something right,” she said.
“They’ll go in as favourites but that’s actually a good thing for us. In the Commonwealth games and World Cup we came so close and they went on to win it so this will be a really good test for us.”
Byaman has family and friends in the Wigan area, the former Upholland High School pupil’s parents live in Billinge , and she is looking forward to seeing familiar faces in the crowd in Liverpool.
“It’s the closest to a home game I will get this series,” she said.
“Most of my family are from in and around Wigan and it will be nice to be in Liverpool so they will get the chance to see what will be a big moment in my career when I lead the team.”
The 31-year-old will lead England from Liverpool to London’s Copper Box Arena for the second and third tests against Australia on January 22 and 24.
And reflecting on being captain, she has outlined how she would like to England progress,
“It’s starting to sink in,” she admitted.
“All the players have been easy to be around and I’ve had some great support.
“I want to to go on and play a style of netball where we attack games.”
Following Sunday’s third test, Bayman’s focus will switch to the Super League, which begins for Manchester Thunder on January 30
at home to Team Northumbria.