Four NSW athletes have been included in the Australian 21/U Team who will travel to Botswana later this year to contest the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup.
Kiera Austin (Eastwood Ryde), Claire O’Brien (St George District), Jamie-Lee Price and Teigan O’Shannassy (Manly Warringah) were included in the 12-strong team, which was announced by Netball Australia this morning.
The team was named by Australian World Youth Cup coach, Tania Obst, alongside national selector Jill McIntosh and Netball Australia’s General Manager – Pathways, Stacey West, with the contribution of Australian Diamonds coach, Lisa Alexander.
Obst admitted that she found selecting 12 athletes from a wider-squad of 24 a difficult task.
“It’s certainly been the toughest, and most challenging selection that I’ve ever been involved with, as it should for a national team,” said Obst.
“With the introduction of Suncorp Super Netball, also aligned with the Australian Netball League, we have seen an increase in opportunities for our athletes to further their development, providing a strong pool to select from.”
Despite the challenge, Obst believes that there is a lot of talent in the selected group.
“The team has diversity in all areas of the court which is going to allow for different styles of play, when and if required.
“We are very confident that we have selected the right mix of athletes to represent our country,” said Obst.
Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander believes the 21/U program is an integral part of the national high-performance pathway with Commonwealth Games selection not out of the question for selected athletes.
“The 21/U World Youth Cup team is extraordinarily important in terms of a stepping stone through to the Diamonds, which is the top of the tree,” said Alexander.
“From the 2013 Netball World Youth Cup in Glasgow, eight of those athletes came and travelled with us in our Test Series earlier this year, so it shows you that in general, 80% of those named in a Netball World Youth Cup team get through to Diamonds level.”
With all players aligned to Suncorp Super Netball teams, Alexander says they have had the best preparation for the World Youth Cup.
“All of those players that are on training partner lists or in the team of ten have been exposed to the world’s best domestic high performance programs of preparation for netball in a general sense.
“They’re getting the best coaching, the best resourcing, best sport science that we can possibly provide them in the lead up to this Netball World Youth Cup. We’re delighted about it and it shows our system’s strength,” Alexander said.
The Australian 21/U Team will travel to Perth for a training camp from 1-5 July, before travelling on to Botswana for the event commencing on July 8.
Netball Australia thanks the Australian Commonwealth Games Association – through its NextGEN AUSComGames squad program – for its support of the 2016-17 Australian Netball World Youth Cup team.
2017 Australian 21/U Squad
Jessica ANSTISS (WA, Fever)
Kiera AUSTIN (NSW, GIANTS Training Partner)
Kate EDDY (VIC, Vixens Training Partner)
Matilda GARRETT (VIC, Magpies Training Partner)
Sasha GLASGOW (SA, Thunderbirds Replacement Player)
Tara HINCHCLIFFE (QLD, Firebirds Training Partner)
Claire O’BRIEN (NSW, Swifts)
Teigan O’SHANNASSY (NSW, GIANTS Training Partner)
Hannah PETTY (SA, Thunderbirds)*
Jamie-Lee PRICE (NSW, GIANTS)
Emma RYDE (VIC, Vixens)
Alice TEAGUE-NEELD (VIC, Magpies)
*subject to medical clearance
Sophie GARBIN (WA, Fever)
Kimberley JENNER (QLD, Firebirds)
Jemma Mi Mi (QLD, Firebirds)