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June McNeill: Netball’s Thistles ready for Glasgow

Scotland's netball team are ranked 11th in the world. Picture: Contributed

Scotland's netball team are ranked 11th in the world. Picture: Contributed

SCOTTISH Thistles netball player June McNeill believes her side’s more professional approach can pay dividends during the Commonwealth Games.

The Scots have moved up in the world rankings in recent years and are ready for a medal challenge at Glasgow 2014 with home advantage behind them.

And a more intense training programme and increased resources are also helping.

McNeill, who is both a goalkeeper and goal shooter, said: “Everything is coming together for us. We have had some great international results.

“We have progressed massively. Since we knew the Games were coming to Glasgow this has been our focus and we have been working towards this for six years.

“We have moved up from 15th to 11th in the rankings.

“I’ve been involved in the Scottish Thistles for almost a decade and I’ve never given it anything but 100 per cent commitment. But now we have got all the support services we need, from the strength and conditioning to the medical support as part of Team Scotland.

“We could not be more prepared coming into these Games and it’s exactly what we need.”

The 26-year-old is a dentist and has to fit training around her work, but a flexible boss has helped her attend the more intense build-up.

The Glaswegian added: “All the girls in the squad are either working full-time or studying full-time.

“To have complete focus and no other distractions in this period is what we need to perform well and we’re all fitting work around our training.

“Having the Games in Scotland makes it even more memorable. We’ve got a massive fan following and they travel with us, we have a good Thistle army, but to have Scottish home support is like having an extra player on court.

“It always raises our game, if we have a flat moment we always have the crowd to pick us back up.”

 

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