Claire Faram is determined to seize her chance and help England’s lacrosse team finally crack the podium this summer.
After finishing fourth in the last two editions of the FIL Rathbones Women’s Lacrosse World Cup, Faram is hoping home soil advantage in Guildford could turn their fortunes.
The 24-year old PE teacher is looking to make her World Cup debut later this year.
England head coach Phil Collier has already cut his training squad to 25 but needs to trim seven further players in the weeks ahead to reach his final 18-strong roster, with a friendly against Japan next week important in those decisions.
“Squad places are still up for grabs and if I am on that list I will be very happy, it will be an amazing experience to have your first World Cup at home,” said Faram.
“I did not think I would ever play for England when I was back in Stockport but I’m really excited about it. I think we have a real combination of experience and young player, which is very exciting.
“We have players like Lucy Lynch, for example, who has played in loads of World Cups and then we have got some knew girls who have come up from the U19s.
“We have different characters and lots of different people, and we all get on so well that trips like the one we had to the USA were really fun.
“It was a really good laugh, everyone has a really good sense of humour and what makes us such a tight-knit team is getting to know everyone off the pitch as well.”
The hosts will open their campaign with games against Scotland and Wales but it’s a grudge match with Australia that could be decisive – and last year they beat their rivals 2-1 in a three Test series.
Canada and the United States contested the final three years ago and England have never won gold, finishing second twice and third three-times, including 16 years ago when they last were hosts.
“We are 100 per cent confident we can go better than in previous years,” added Faram. “That is something that Phil, our head coach, has really drilled into us. We are going for gold, it is not a case where we are just hoping to medal like in previous World Cups.
“We are going for that gold medal on a home ground, and to have that advantage is going to be something really special.
“USA and Canada are the favourites, but having played against them when we have been over in Baltimore we have had some really close games.
“We beat Canada by one goal, we played three Test matches against Australia and they were really close too, so the fact that we have been getting used to these high-level competitors has given us a lot of experience.
“We are used to playing the best teams and that is the main difference for me this year.”
The FIL Rathbones Women’s World Lacrosse Cup takes place at Surrey Sports Park, Guildford, 12-22 July 2017. Tickets on sale at www.2017worldlacrosse.com