Promotion is the aim as Sibley heads to Malaysia

Kelly Sibley believes familiarity will help in England's World Team quest.
Kelly Sibley believes familiarity will help in England's World Team quest.
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Kelly Sibley is ready to take on the world as England head to Malaysia for the World Team Championships.

The Leamington player joins Tin-Tin Ho and Karina Le Fevre in the squad as England, ranked 32, compete in the second division.

They face the division’s top seeds, Serbia (25th), plus Canada (34), Belgium (39), Turkey (42) and New Zealand (48) in Group E, beginning against Turkey on Sunday.

They will face Serbia last, and Sibley believes a bit of inside knowledge could see them mount a serious challenge to the top seeds.

She said: “Serbia are the number one seeds and would normally be in the top division, but Malaysia have taken their spot as hosts, so they will have a point to prove to show they deserve to be in that top division.

“But we’ve got no pressure and we can cause them problems and maybe get an unexpected win. I know two of their players quite well - Anamaria Erdelji is in my French league team (Schiltigheim) and I’m the same age as Gabriela Feher so we’ve played each other all the way through the age groups. It’s going to be tough, but if we play well, we’ve got a chance.

“I think it’s quite a tough group. If the other teams put out their strong players, it will be difficult but if we play well and get behind each other we can get some decent wins. The main goal is to go up, but we just want to perform well.

“On a personal note, I was disappointed with how the Europeans went, because we wanted promotion and we weren’t able to do that. I want to go there and put in a better performance. I feel my training and match-play has been going well.”

Sibley also made light of the fact that the squad is only three-strong rather than four.

“We’re also taking a physio, which is good because there are a lot of matches,” she said. “It’s quite strenuous on the body but we can use the physio, get massages and rest properly.

“We’ve been training well and we’re fit and ready to go.”