Commonwealth Games: Kadeen Corbin inspired by costly mistake as netball squad seek to upset hosts Australia
PUBLISHED: 13:30 04 April 2018
PA/Press Association Images
When it comes to netball, the Commonwealth Games really is the sport’s Olympics and former Barking Abbey Academy pupil Kadeen Corbin is going for gold.
Four years ago in Glasgow it was Corbin’s mistake which cost England’s women a place in the gold-medal match as they lost to New Zealand, but she has clearly learned from that fateful day.
“Last time is always there in my past and my mind,” she said. “It is part of me now, but it does inspire me to do better this time round.
“Over the last two Games, we have been unlucky to miss out on a medal, but this time round we are going for gold and I really think we can do it.”
They are bold words from the goal shooter considering England will have to beat the formidable Australians in their own backyard if they want to reach the top of the podium.
“Over the last couple of years we have really come together as a team,” insisted Kadeen.
“We have had some really good results and are very confident going into the Games. Everyone wants to be a part of the squad and we have real talent throughout the squad.”
England have been drawn in a group with their Glasgow conquerers New Zealand, as well as Malawi, Scotland, Wales and Uganda.
With two teams to qualify for the semi-finals they should go through, but Kadeen and the rest of the England squad are taking nothing for granted.
“We are going to play each group game as a final,” she said.
“We are playing New Zealand last, so by the time we come to that, we will hopefully be on top form.”
Corbin will certainly know what she is up against in that game, having played her club netball in New Zealand last season.
“It was great to rub shoulders with players that I have taken on in international matches,” said the former Barking Abbey girl.
“I didn’t get as much court time as I would’ve liked, but it was great to be in the big arenas and I got an insight into netball at the highest level which I will take into my netball for England.”
So after just missing out on medals in fourth place at the last two Commonwealth Games, what are the chances of England doing better this time round?
Kadeen is certainly confident they can do just that.
“We have beaten New Zealand and South Africa in the Quad Series recently and we have got very close to beating Australia as well,” she said.
“The Aussies will be at home, but they are beatable and we will give it everything we have got.”
South Africa and Jamaica will also be vying for a place in the semi-finals alongside Australia in the other group, but England must concentrate on their own matches before worrying about any potential last-four clash.
Corbin and the rest of the squad have been warming up for the Games in Brisbane and, speaking ahead of their departure from the UK, she revealed she couldn’t wait to get to the athletes’ village and mix with the stars of so many different sports, saying: “It will be great to be part of the village.
“It is always nice to rub shoulders with athletes from other sports. We don’t have an Olympics to do that, this is our Olympics.”
Also in action Down Under will be her cousin, the Newham & Essex Beagles sprinter Asha Philip, but sister Sasha has not made the trip, missing out on selection because of a long-term injury.
It has hit the younger Corbin sister hard.
“It is absolutely gutting for me that Sasha will not be there,” she admitted. “She has come so far since her injury and is getting better all the time.
“It will be upsetting not to be there with my partner in crime, but I will still be flying the flag for the Corbins.”
And she will fly the flag for England too, who begin their campaign against Scotland on Thursday, April 5.
“We finished fourth last time and we’re determined we’re not going to come home empty-handed,” said Kadeen.
It will be tough, but it seems England have a fighting chance.
Fixtures, April 5: England v Scotland (3pm); Australia v Northern Ireland (8.30pm).
April 6: Wales v New Zealand (1pm); Malawi v England (6.30pm).
April 7: Northern Ireland v South Africa (3pm); Scotland v Wales (6.30pm).
April 8: Jamaica v Northern Ireland (1pm); England v Uganda (3pm).
April 9: England v Wales (1pm); New Zealand v Scotland (8.30pm).
April 10: Barbados v Northern Ireland (1pm); Scotland v Malawi (3pm); Wales v Uganda (8.30pm).
April 11: New Zealand v England (9am); Northern Ireland v Fiji (2pm); Uganda v Scotland (4pm); Malawi v Wales (7pm).
Classification matches take place on April 12, with semi-finals on April 14 (3pm & 5pm) and medal matches on April 15 (11am & 1pm).