Who Is Berri Neil?

Who Is Berri Neil?

Let's get to know Berri Neil, rising Roses superstar.

Introducing Berri Neil. Gilbert's latest ambassador.

Rising England Roses superstar Berri Neil will be sharing insights with the Gilbert family in a monthly blog covering all things netball and beyond. Stay tuned for her reflections, thoughts, and experiences both on and off the netball court.

So, let's get to know Berri...

Height: 183cm
Club: London Pulse
Position: GA

Where are you from? 
I grew up in Manchester

When did you first start playing netball?
I started playing netball when I was 9 years old. A lady visited my school who was promoting and teaching netball and offered me a free session, and well, the rest is history.

What was your first netball club?
My cousins mum led and coached the Prestwich Panthers so I was always around netball but the first team I actually played for was YWCA Bury.

What position do you play? I currently play GA, but if I could chose another position, I would pick to play GS. I thrive on the intensity of scoring goals but also relish the challenge of exerting pressure to create turnover opportunities.

How long have you been playing for the Roses?
I first got on England's radar when I was 14, playing for and captaining England U17's national academy. I worked my way through the academy in U19's, U21's and then into the Future Roses programme. 2023 I was then elevated into the Vitality Roses and made my debut later that year.

What does playing for the Roses mean to you?
Words cannot describe the feeling of playing for your country. I have been going to watch the roses play since I was 10 years old and have watched previous Roses that I admired and looked up to and so to be able to call myself a Rose and play amongst the best players in the world is a dream come true. It really is beyond comprehension for me.

What are your netball ambitions?
My main goal is to win a World Cup and Commonwealth Games, it always has been! Who doesn't want to win the highest accolade within the sport, representing your country?!
I really want to play in Australia one day and follow in the footsteps of some of the other Roses. The weather is also a plus! But before that, I want to win the Superleague.

Who is your sporting hero?
I have so many but I am really inspired by Kobe Bryant and his attitude towards working to be the best, his competitive edge and what he brings to the sport as a whole. A spokesperson and figurehead for the sport. I want that for myself for Netball, to really bring it to the forefront and start conversations around inclusion in mainstream sport.

If you could play or take part in any other sport what would it be?
I would probably say Football or Basketball since I have played them both before. Basketball being the most closely related sport to Netball, I've always watched and appreciated the sport for what it is. Whatever it was, it would definitely have to be a team sport for sure. I love the camaraderie and the ethos of working as a team to achieve a goal.