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Ryan calling for clarity on Games qualification



Dan Ryan

Dan Ryan

Freddie Parkinson

Dan Ryan

Northern Ireland head coach Dan Ryan has urged netball's governing bodies to make a decision on the qualification process for the 2022 Commonwealth Games to give teams peace of mind going forward.

Only the top 12 ranked teams in the world will make it to Birmingham next year, but with the coronavirus pandemic affecting teams' schedules, it could lead to a flawed process where some sides drop out of the qualification spots simply because they cannot play any games under local restrictions.

Northern Ireland are currently ranked 11th but have only two Tests lined up - against the Republic of Ireland next month - while other nations could potentially organise several Test matches to gain world ranking points and overtake them.

Ryan has outlined the importance of qualifying for the Northern Ireland team and insists they need clarity over whether the system will stay the same or be amended so they can prioritise their limited resources.

"If we don't make the Commonwealth Games then our funding is jeopardised, and if we don't have funding then we can't run a national programme," claimed Ryan.

"As grim as that sounds, that's the reality of the situation. You need to be at those major competitions. We know the importance, and that's why we're prioritising everything to be there.

"Effectively we're making decisions blind. Clarification would allow us to make more effective decisions about what is best.

"If we didn't have to make it happen, we could spend more time planning for the next phase of preparation which, ideally, would be preparing the team for the Games.

"However, right now we're in a scramble to make sure we get there and, with no clarity, that is extremely difficult."

Belfast Telegraph

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