NNSW Blues prepare for double-header

After having a bye last round, the Netball NSW (NNSW) Blues are preparing to contest back-to-back games in Canberra this weekend for Week 5 of the 2014 Australian Netball (ANL) at AIS Arena.

The young NSW outfit will be meeting two northern rivals over the weekend, coming up against finals-contenders Queensland Fusion first on Saturday 2 August before taking on the Territory Storm to close their Week 5 action on Sunday 3 August.

The weekend will showcase some of the nation’s best up-and-coming netball talent in contest, with no less than 16 2014 Australian underage representatives taking the court for both NSW games.

After being tested in their last round of action in Week 3, Head Coach Briony Akle said her NNSW Blues charges have been working hard at training and are ready to hit the court against quality opposition.

“It was a tough outing in Melbourne, but we came away from the weekend with plenty of positives and have worked hard on the training track ready to get back into the action this weekend against the [QLD] Fusion and [Territory] Storm,” Akle said.

“The Fusion showed last weekend against the [NNSW] Waratahs what a formidable side they are, coming back from a halftime deficit to win in double Extra Time.  We will need to be focussed and treasure our possession against their tough defensive pressure.

“The Storm also can’t be underestimated as they have experience across the court.  However we can’t dwell on our opposition too much; we need to be focussed on our game plan, do the basic things well, and hopefully we can get over the line in Canberra,” Akle concluded.

The Fusion boast an experienced line-up, featuring five ANZ Championship-experienced athletes, including their co-captain Demelza Fellowes (formerly McCloud) and 2014 NSW Swift Gretel Tippett, as well as five Australian underage squad members.

The Storm also feature plenty of young emerging talent, with five current and former Australian underage athletes, including NSW junior and ANZ Championship player Nicola Gray.

Notwithstanding the credentials of their opponents, the NNSW Blues have their own Australian underage personnel, with five members of the 2014 Australian 19/U squad and four members of the Australian 17/U development squad representing the Waratah with the NNSW Blues this season.

If you’re in the neighbourhood, come down to the AIS Arena to cheer on the mighty NNSW Blues against some of the best underage netballing talent from around the country!

If you can’t make it to Canberra, keep up to date with all the action on the road with Netball NSW’s social media channels;www.facebook.com/OfficialNetballNSW, Twitter and Instagram @netballnsw #ANL2014 #GoNSW

The NNSW Waratahs have a bye this weekend and will return to ANL action in Week 6.

Netball NSW Blues – Week 3 Team
Toni Anderson – Sutherland Shire
Keira Austin – Eastwood Ryde
Nicole Degeenaars – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Billie Gurr – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Sophie Halpin – Eastwood Ryde
Kirra Jones – Illawarra
Claire O’Brien – St George
Holly Pearce – St George
Claudia Russell – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Kara Styles – St George
Donnay Van Taak – Sutherland Shire
Lauren Yager – Sutherland Shire
Head Coach: Briony Akle
Assistant Coach: Amber Cross
Team Manager: Debra Hanson
Physiotherapist: Justin Walsh

2014 Australian Netball League – Week 5 Fixture
Fri 1 August Canberra Darters v VIC Flames @ 6:30pm
Sat 2 August VIC Fury v Tassie Spirit @ 3pm
QLD Fusion v NNSW Blues @ 5pmCanberra Darters v Territory Storm @ 7:30pm
Sun 3 August Tassie Spirit v QLD Fusion @ 10am
NNSW Blues v Territory Storm @ 12pmCanberra Darters v VIC Fury @ 2pm

*all times AEST

Click here to view the full 2014 ANL Fixture.
Click here to view the 2014 ANL Ladder.