Natalie’s pride – after wiping away the tears!

England Under 21 captain Natalie Haythornthwaite (front row, second right) with the squad at the World Youth Championships in Glasgow

England Under 21 captain Natalie Haythornthwaite (front row, second right) with the squad at the World Youth Championships in Glasgow

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While disappointed not to win a medal with England Under 21s at the World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, Barrowford’s Natalie Haythornthwaite was proud of her team.

After a battling display against South Africa to reach the semi-finals, England went down 67-33 to favourites Australia last Thursday, before losing the bronze medal match 52-33 to Jamaica on Saturday.

A medal had been the goal, and England captain Natalie said: “I’m still gutted not to win a medal, and I was still in tears on Sunday. But I’ve come to grips with it now, we have to see the bigger picture - we have to look at the positives.

“We gave our best and hopefully we will play at many more championships - to go to the Commonwealth Games next year would be amazing!”

After a brief break, Natalie will begin training at the Intensive Netball Training Centre in Manchester, before the netball Superleague resumes with her club Yorkshire Jets.

And there is the goal of winning her first senior England cap, having been in the squad for the series win over Australia at the turn of the year.