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‘Honoured’ Payet ready for senior England debut

Paul Stimpson

Denise Payet is relishing her first call-up to the England senior squad for the European Championships qualifying play-offs.

The 15-year-old joins established stars Kelly Sibley and Tin-Tin Ho in the line-up to face Spain in Preston next week.

The match is part of the double-header as the men’s team take on Slovakia in the home leg of their play-off. Click here to buy tickets.

Payet gets her chance with some of the other high-ranked English players already committed to attend the Luxembourg Open.

Nevertheless, the Enfield player may have been knocking on the door in any case, having beaten England No 3 Karina Le Fevre and No 7 seed Yolanda King on her way to reaching the women’s singles semi-finals at the PG Mutual National Championships last month.

photograph from Table Tennis England website

Payet said:

“I’m very honoured to be chosen and grateful to have the opportunity. It will be a really good experience and I can’t wait. I’m a bit nervous, but that will make me play better.

“It was a bit of a surprise, but because I came third at the Nationals, I feel like it’s a kind of reward and I want to show what I’m capable of and see if I can get chosen more in the future.

“I’m hoping to bring the experience back to the Junior team and the England Youth Squad, to see how professional the top players are and what they do differently, it might help me to be more professional.”

Don’t forget to watch the match live on the SPORTbible Facebook page from 7pm on Tuesday April 11!

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