24 February 2020

Ama Agbeze opens up about mental health struggles and how move to Severn Stars has helped her

England and Severn Stars netballer Ama Agbeze has opened up about her ongoing struggles with mental health. 

The 27 year-old has represented her country since 2001 and was named captain during the 2016 season.

But at last year's World Cup in Liverpool, she was left out of Tracey Neville's squad, something she has now revealed left her battling with mental health problems.

Speaking to Telegraph Sport, she said: "I’m still kind of in it [a tough place], a little bit.

"Sometimes… I’m going to start crying… just leaning on people close to you, picking up the phone, sending them messages, just letting someone know you’re not ok [can help]. But also sometimes just staying in bed. It has been really tough.

"I guess with Caroline Flack’s death there’s been lots of talk about people in low mental state. Her ex-boyfriend came out and said he was potentially going to kill himself [in the past when he experienced his own suicidal thoughts].

"It’s really important, if you need help, speaking out and there are loads [of numbers] you can call, if you want to be anonymous. I’ve not had to call a number because I’ve got people who I message but it has been really tough."

Agbeze's Stars suffered a 70-49 loss against Saracens Mavericks in their Vitality Netball Superleague season opener in Birmingham on Saturday.

And the England international revealed she felt the pressure more before that game than she did for the Commonwealth Games final with England in 2018.

"I don’t usually get nervous. It was really hard for me to find ways to cope and deal with nerves," she added.

"I am still struggling. It’s just going to be taking baby steps and putting your toes in the water and checking if it’s still hot. Hopefully, as time moves forward, I’ll get more comfortable and the water will feel amazingly beautiful and I’ll just relax. It’s just going to take time. But I’m glad I made the move to Stars and I feel comfortable and supported."

Severn Stars will host Manchester Thunder this coming Saturday in their next match of the Superleague season.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox