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24 February 2010 | PR 10/28

Lightning coach hopes Harten's high-life will rub off on team mates

Loughborough Lightning head coach Olivia Murphy is hoping her skipper Jo Harten's time with the England side will help her spur on her team mates when they return to Co-operative Super League action next week.

Harten will lead the Loughborough University based Lightning to Bath for their next Cooperative Superleague fixture on March 6 after playing a key role in England's titanic three-match tussle with Australia.

Goal shooter Harten sat out England's 41-10 win - their first victory over the Australians for over 29 years - before coming off the bench in the second Test as England went down 53-48. By the time the final game came round on Tuesday night, the Lightning's leader had forced her way into the starting side.

Agonisingly for Harten and England, the Australians fought back to claim a  45-43 win to take the series 2-1.

But Murphy said: "Jo did well. It was her first experience of playing Australia in three-test series so it was a really good opportunity to learn and should be good preparation for the Commonwealth games. She was playing in varied combinations as well because the England coaches were looking who was best suited to play Australia, so I'm hoping she's proved herself enough and will be ready for that competition."

And Murphy insists that Harten's experiences from the series will help inspire the rest of the Lightning girls: "If she can shoot against the best defenders in the world she can definitely perform well in Superleague for us," she said.

"Also, the other girls already aspire to be like Jo Harten and have just seen her perform really well. A lot of them went down to watch the game in Nottingham and it was good for them to see her playing at the highest level."

Before their meeting with Bath the Lightning will take on England in a  training match behind closed doors on Monday March 1, which Murphy says will stand them in good stead for the trip to Somerset.

She said: "Bath have beaten everyone apart from Surrey Storm so it's going to be a tough game but it will be good for us to play England on Monday because a lot of Bath girls will be part of that, so it's almost a training run for that Superleague game."

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Danny Coyle
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T : 01509 223491
E: D.Coyle@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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