Lynsey Gallagher, aged 21 had the honour of being captain of the Scotland U21 side at the World Youth Netball Championships, held in Glasgow recently. 20 competing countries gathered at the Emirates Arena for the much anticipated tournament and after a gruelling weeks play, the Scottish team finished in 12th place.
For Gallagher though, these World Youth Championships are hopefully not the pinnacle of her netballing career, as she turns her attention quickly to the national senior team selection with a place in the Glasgow 2014 squad being her ultimate goal.
Q: Has this event given you a sense of the atmosphere you can expect at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year?
LG: It's been great to experience these kinds of conditions at home with such fantastic supporters. Netball doesn't get a lot of attention in Scotland so this has been a great opportunity for people to see what we can do and learn more about the sport.
Having the crowd behind you in those tight games really gives you that extra edge. It's like having an eighth man in your team. Whether you're down or up, it's great to have them support you all the way. I hope that massive crowds will come along next year and get behind us.
Q: How are your own preparations going for 2014 and what do you need to do to make that final squad of 12 players?
LG: I want to make that final 12. Long term goals are the Commonwealth Games but my main focus right now has been to finish strongly in this competition and make my selection process for the senior national team as easy as possible.
Q: What do you do when you're not on a netball court and how do you juggle all the demands placed on you?
LG: I am going into my fourth year at Napier University studying Sport and Exercise Science so that is going to be busy balancing that with training. I take the down-time when you can as you have to let your body recover but it's mostly just a lot of time spent in the gym and on the court.
University are really helpful and do allow me to do assessments online when I need to and I couldn't have asked for anything more from them. Hopefully it will continue that way next year.
There is a lot of travelling back and forth between Edinburgh and Glasgow for training but I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't enjoy it and that's what pushes you to make those sacrifices. You make so many good friends and it is just amazing to be able to pull on a Scotland dress and playing alongside these girls.
Q: What is your next big challenge?
LG: We have Netball Europe around April or May time next year and our World Championship qualifiers and then it's the Commonwealth Games so there is a lot to work for and look ahead to.
I am pushing to make that final squad for the Games. There will be a few very disappointed people that don't make it in and I would be gutted not to be part of it, so I am doing all I can to be there.
Lynsey was recently named in the Scottish Netball long squad for Glasgow 2014
Last weekend, the Glasgow 2014 netball draw was announced with Scotland drawn in Pool A alongside New Zealand, Jamaica, Malawi, Northern Ireland and St Lucia.
You can follow Lynsey on Twitter @Lynsey_G
Photo Credit: Netball Scotland