NewsIt’s difficult to imagine a tougher start to 2020 as 21-year-old Amy Carter reveals the New Year resolution required to keep her dreams alive - on and off the court. If this month’s promotion to the England Roses squad will prove challenging enough then third-year medical exams make that transition all the trickier. But there’s a reason Carter won Athlete of the Year at last year’s TASS Stars Awards: the Manchester Thunder midcourter is the epitome of dual career determination. “The day after England met up in Loughborough I had to shoot back to university in Manchester to sit an exam,” explained the third-year medical student. “And once this month’s Nations Cup is over I’m straight into practical exams. “Being able to represent my country and work towards a career in the medical profession is a great position to be in. “But it’s also pretty difficult in terms of time management and priorities. And it could get even tougher!” Photo credit:England Netball Carter is in line to make her full England debut before the end of the month as Jess Thirlby’s squad takes on New Zealand, South Africa and Jamaica in the all-new Nations Cup. And one of the rising stars of Netball Superleague has been handed a golden opportunity to stake her claim in the senior squad at the start of a new four-year cycle culminating in the 2023 World Cup. “This year is more of a development year with the Netball Quad Series returning in 2021,” said Carter. “We’ve got the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and then the World Cup the year after that. “If I can keep my place in the Roses squad then it’s only going to get more intense on the court. But I’m confident I can continue to manage my academic work for now. “The Roses call-up has enabled me to open up some conversations between university and netball. They’re both aware of the challenges this year and the University of Manchester has been great in terms of giving me permission to play netball this month.” At last summer’s TASS Stars Awards Carter fought off stiff competition to lift the biggest prize of the night. But maintaining that winning habit against three of world netball’s toughest teams will require another Herculean effort. And any success in the Nations Cup could hinge on how effective Carter’s Christmas homework proved to be. “We were all given players from the opposition teams to analyse before meeting up for camp and it was incredibly useful,” added the only uncapped player in Thirlby’s 14-player squad. “There’s a lot of video on the other sides and I enjoy that side of netball. “I was really interested to see how New Zealand’s Gina Crampton plays the game. I’ve watched her very closely and worked out a way that I think I could combat her. “I’ve also taken a close look at South Africa’s Bongi Msomi - she played for Wasps last season so I had a head start there!” Thirlby will name 12 players from her 14-strong roster for each of this month’s four internationals. And Tracey Neville’s successor said: “There’s a real blend of talent and experience amongst this squad from the likes of Chelsea Pitman, who will be wearing the red dress again following a successful Netball World Cup campaign, to a debutant like Amy. “It will be a fantastic opportunity to expose many of the newer faces to three of the top five world ranked teams. Doing so at an almost sold out home series will be pretty unforgettable. “We are lucky that we have a lot of players in the Roses programme who are hungry for success and ready to take on this challenge. Many of them have already benefited from a tour to New Zealand, Australia and South Africa during a jam-packed international window. “We can’t wait to get out on court and to see the Roses fans out in force once again for what is going to be a thrilling series.” The Nations Cup, which takes place from January 19-26, will be shown live on Sky Sports. England face New Zealand in Nottingham on Sunday before taking on South Africa in Birmingham (January 22) and Jamaica at London’s Copperbox Arena on January 25. The final and third/fourth place playoff take place at the Copperbox on January 26.