She has been at Celtic Dragons since 2018 and at the end of the 2019 season was named by her peers as Dragons’ ‘Most Improved Player.’ Ever since, Abby Tyrrell has been at the heart of Celtic Dragons’ defensive combinations having established herself as a Superleague regular. We caught up with Abby and she gave us some insight into her life studying at Cardiff Met University and playing elite netball during these unprecedented times…
· Why have you moved to South Wales and what are you up to?
One of the main reasons for moving to Cardiff was to be able to train with the team full-time and not have to travel as much. This also encouraged my decision to take up a Masters which I am currently studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Along with university and training, I have managed to transfer my part time job over to Cardiff.
· What are your ambitions for the 2021 season?
On a personal level I am hoping to keep progressing throughout the season and keep constantly learning from coaches alongside some experienced and new players within Dragons. I want to contribute to the team with a positive impact to achieve our team goals.
· How have you coped with training under COVID-19 restrictions? How do you feel about being able to play netball at this time?
Being able to train and play still under the restrictions is amazing, from the beginning up until now I have never not felt safe in the training environment. Coaches and management have operated the sessions safely, I feel extremely grateful to still be able to train and play throughout this time!
· How has the team changed for 2021? What is the vibe like in camp?
There has been a little change from last year’s team with some new players coming in and also some players coming back to Dragons. I think the team is more experienced this year with the likes of Clare [Jones] returning to dragons who brings experience and has a positive influence on the team alongside new faces Laura [Rudland] and Annika [Lee-Jones] who both bring new knowledge and experience to both ends. The vibe in training and camps is great, there is always a positive atmosphere and we are always pushing to get the best out of each other.
· How do you manage such a busy schedule with lots of travelling and overnights?
It is quite beneficial with university all being online at the moment as travelling will not be an issue and I will be able to catch up with university work whilst travelling. My work is really flexible which enables me to be able to focus on the games fully.
· Give us a teammate to watch out for in 2021 and a reason why.
We are quite a newly formed team and also quite a young side so it’s an exciting squad, I think Annika will definitely be one to watch out for. Annika is a great addition to the squad, not only is she a great addition to the defence but she is also an option in attack. It will be exciting to see what she can do this season and I am excited to have the opportunity to learn and work with Annika this season.
Abby and her team-mates will be hard at work this week ahead of Celtic Dragons’ next Superleague fixture which is against London Pulse on Monday 15 March at 5.15pm. You can the game live via Sky Netball’s YouTube channel.