Great Britain’s women reported to training camp in Guildford on Saturday to begin what will be a long and arduous build-up towards the Olympics.

18 players will begin their battle to impress head coach Tom Maher and his staff before the roster is cut to 12 ahead of July’s Games opener against Australia.

The preparation will take the team home and abroad, including stops in China and the Czech Republic, plus friendlies in Edinburgh and Sheffield.

And having been split up for 10 months since the side’s run to the second round of EuroBasket Women in Poland, forward Julie Page admits there is a sense of anticipation.

“We have been preparing for this moment for almost a year now, and to have the time finally arrive is beyond words,” she said. “I can’t wait to be back on the court at Surrey Sports Park with the GB girls and coaching staff.

“For us to be together for the next 3 months, physically and mentally competing with each other every day, and supporting each other through what will be a challenging preparation period, is such an amazing driving force for us to be able to make our nation proud.”

There will be a number of key duels to make the final dozen, with two camp attendees set to face the axe before the side’s opening friendly in Croatia on May 28.

And it will give the next four weeks a certain edge,

“I am excited and nervous going into camp,” said Lauren Thomas-Johnson.

“It feels like we have all been waiting so long for this time to come as it is finally here. After coming off winning a championship with the Sheffield Hatters I’m going into camp on a high ready to work hard.”

Main pic: MAP

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