Ribble Valley netballer picked for British squad

CALL UP: Francesca Barrientos
CALL UP: Francesca Barrientos

FORMER Ribble Valley Netball Club player Francesca Barrientos has been selected for the British Colleges team.

The 17-year-old former St Augustine’s pupil, is one of 18 chosen to play for the British Colleges Netball Team.

Francesca, who attends St Mary’s College, had to battle her way through three stages, culminating in a final trial at Nottingham University before she was chosen.

She was initially recognised for her talent at the age of nine, and encouraged to train with Ribble Valley Netball Club, where she soon became a regular member of the squad.

At the age of 12, Francesca was successful in a trial for Lancashire County Netball Academy, and became a regular first team member.

Francesca came through trials for the county academy for the next two years until, at the age of 15, she attended trials for the Netball Talent League - an elite performance league which recognises the top 15-19-year-olds nationally.

Due to the demands of this performance training, Francesca had to leave Ribble Valley and was no longer eligible to play county. She currently represents Superleague team Yorkshire Jets in their NTL squad and trains in Leeds twice a week before playing at weekends.

Francesca has also been awarded a sports scholarship from St Mary’s College.