Dekker stars as outstanding England hit Euro jackpot

Ashleigh Dekker
Ashleigh Dekker
Fireflys Black

Emerald well rewarded after polished display

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Ashleigh Dekker helped lead England to Netball Europe glory in Hull.

The former Portsmouth Jellies player, who attends Portsmouth Grammar School, was picked as vice captain for the strong England under-17 team.

The first game was against Northern Ireland.

Dekker, 16, played the second half as goal-attack and the team won 102-11.

Next up was Scotland and Dekker was in the starting seven as England recorded a convincing 83-23 success.

The last game against Wales looked set to be the toughest clash on paper.

But England stepped up and took the win 77-24.

Dekker started as goal-attack and then moved to the wing.

She said: ‘It was an amazing experience.

‘Special moments were pulling on the England dress and singing the national anthem at the closing ceremony.’

Dekker also plays in the National Performance League for Surrey Storm, for the regional performance team and Weston Park Blades.

Proud dad, Barrie, revealed Dekker had overcome injury, illness and GCSE study, while putting in hours of extra shooting practice.

Ashleigh enjoys taking a long shot, which can make for a nervous moment for her dad when he’s watching on.

She has great support from all her family and was joined in Hull by mum, dad, both sets of grandparents and her 17-year-old brother.

They made a weekend of it, while watching England win the tournament with their talented squad.

Back home now, Dekker has trials in a few weeks to get back into the National Academy where she hopes to continue for a year until she bids to join the under-17s.