The NSW 21/U Team’s 2012 National Netball Championship campaign gets underway this week when the team begins preparations on Friday.
Four-time defending champions NSW will face the best from around Australia over four days from July 12-15 in Perth.
The team’s training will have an added focus following the release of the tournament draw today; NSW has been placed in Pool A alongside Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia for the preliminary rounds. ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria are in Pool B – check out the full draw. NSW will open its account against WA at 10.00am on Thursday 12 July.
Although the 12 players named in the team are familiar with the level of intensity at a national junior championship, the depth of their experience has been boosted recently with three players testing themselves against some of the world’s best in the ANZ Championship.
Gabi Simpson and Paige Hadley were called into the NSW Swifts side to travel to the 2012 ANZ Championship pre-season tournament in March as temporary replacement players for the injured Mo’onia Gerrard and Vanessa Ware, with Hadley also joining the Swifts as a temporary replacement player in round one as replacement for an injured Mo’onia Gerrard and again in round six for Kimberlee Green. Gray had the opportunity to take the floorboards for the Queensland Firebirds in round five as a temporary replacement player for NSW junior Chelsea Pitman.
The NSW team’s preparations in the two months leading up to Nationals will be vital as rivals Victoria also boasts players with ANZ Championship experience in Melbourne Vixen Micaela Wilson and Vixens round two temporary replacement player, Kelsey Browne.
Following their own National Netball Championship campaigns in April, the NSW 17/U and 19/U teams celebrated their achievements with a function prior to the NSW Swifts v Melbourne Vixens game on Sunday 20 May at Allphones Arena. The players, coaches and staff mingled with family and supporters before the game and were congratulated on their success at Nationals by Netball NSW Board Member Rodney Watson.
The teams were introduced on court prior to the Mother’s Day game (pictured, below), with team captains Kaitlyn Bryce (17/U) and Amy Sommerville (19/U) chatting about their experiences at the 2012 17/U and 19/U National Netball Championships in Tasmania.
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