Four NSW athletes named in World Youth Cup team

Netball Australia has today announced the Australian 21/U Team to contest the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships this August, with four New South Wales athletes selected.

Congratulations to Kristina Brice, Paige Hadley, Kimberley Ravaillion and Gabi Simpson who were named in the 12-player team who will travel to Glasgow to take on the best young netball talent from around the world.

Netball NSW General Manager – High Performance Tracey Fear said having four NSW athletes in the team shows the terrific talent coming through the State.

“It is wonderful news to hear of Kristina, Paige, Kimberley and Gabi’s inclusion in the Australian 21/U Team.  We couldn’t be prouder and congratulate them and the other athletes announced today,” Fear said.

“The World Youth Netball Championships has exposed most of our current Australian Diamonds to international netball, including NSW Swifts Vice-Captain Susan Pratley, so it’s a fantastic opportunity for these talented players to take another step towards the ultimate goal of becoming a Diamond.”

“We are looking at the next crop of Diamonds players, it’s an exciting time, and we look forward to seeing them in action during the World Youth Cup later this year,” Fear concluded.

With three months until Australia opens its 2013 World Youth Netball Championship title defence against Israel in Glasgow, Australian 21/U Head Coach Carol Byers named her team today on the final day of selection camp at the Australian Institute of Sport.

“We’ve selected a 12-player team that’s strong, athletic and experienced across all areas of the court,” Byers said.

“Having such a breadth of experience in the team, including three international Tests and 66 games of ANZ Championship, means that our athletes have already tested themselves against some of the best players in the world despite their age.”

The World Youth Netball Championships, which runs from Thursday 22 to Saturday 31 August, has launched the careers of some of netball’s most recognisable athletes including Pratley, Liz Ellis, Catherine Cox, Julie Corletto, Laura Geitz and Madison Browne.

Diamonds coach and Australian 21/U selector Lisa Alexander said she’s looking forward to seeing the next generation of Diamonds take the international stage.

“While I’ve had the opportunity to see Kim (Ravaillion) make her international debut against England in January, I’m excited to see our up-and-coming athletes step up against their peers from around the world, giving these athletes their first taste of a world championship competition,” Alexander said.

The Australian 21/U team will use the Australian Netball League (ANL), the national underpinning competition to the ANZ Championship which kicks off on Saturday 6 July, to prepare for the 10-day tournament in Glasgow, Scotland.

“The ANL will give us the opportunity to develop our tactics, combinations and strategies in a highly competitive and skilful environment against our country’s best talent outside of the ANZ Championship,” Byers said.

Australia, named in Group A along with South Africa, Fiji, Israel and Namibia, will open its World Youth Netball Championships campaign against Israel on August 23 at Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.

Australia has won four of six World Youth Netball Championships since its inception in 1988.

Australian 21/U Team for the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships:
Kristina Brice* (AIS)
Courtney Bruce (West Coast Fever)
Paige Hadley* (NSW Swifts)
Cody Lange (AIS) – subject to fitness
Maddy Proud (AIS)
Kimberley Ravaillion* (Queensland Firebirds)
Kate Shimmin (AIS/Adelaide Thunderbirds)
Gabi Simpson* (Queensland Firebirds)
Kaylia Stanton (AIS)                                     
Gretel Tippett (Queensland Firebirds)
Joanna Weston (AIS)
Micaela Wilson (AIS)

Head Coach: Carol Byers
Assistant Coach: Anita Keelan*
Manager: Bree McDonald
Physiotherapist: Heidi Pollington
Massage Therapist: Susan Lewis
*denotes NSW junior