National selectors have announced the Australian 21/U squad, which includes six NSW representatives; Toni Anderson (Sutherland Shire), Kiera Austin (Eastwood Ryde), Rudi Ellis (Manly Warringah), Claire O’Brien (St George District), as well as Teigan O’Shannassy (Manly Warringah) and Jamie-Lee Price who have been elevated into the squad.
The 24-athlete strong Aussie squad consists of 13 contracted Suncorp Super Netball players, and all will be considered before a final 12-man team is named to contest the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup in Gaborone, Botswana.
The team was named by Australian World Youth Cup Head Coach Tania Obst, alongside national selector Jill McIntosh and Netball Australia’s General Manager Pathways Stacey West, following athletes’ performances in Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) and the Australian Netball League (ANL).
For Obst, having all 24 players contracted as permanent SSN players or training within SSN environments as training partners, has led to greater skill development of the athletes and has seen an increase in match intensity on the court.
“Nothing beats being in a quality training environment, and when you are training with some of the best netballers in the world you are more accountable at training and obviously at a match. I think the basic skill level of some of the girls has improved with what we’ve seen on the SSN court and the ANL court over the last eight weeks,” said Obst.
Obst continued, that the direct alignment of ANL and SSN competitions in 2017, has allowed players greater opportunity to put their skills into practice.
“Having the ANL competition running alongside SSN, has allowed the girls who don’t get a game in SSN to go back into the ANL environment and execute what they are practicing, and that has been really good from our point of view in that we’ve been able to see that transition onto court rather than just on the training court.”
The final 2017 Australian Netball World Youth Cup team will be announced in May, with consideration given to performances in remaining SSN games, and state league competitions.
“The ANL finals competition last weekend was fantastic with three of the four games going into overtime. That ‘pressure cooker’ environment is great for the athletes to experience.
“The challenge now for our athletes who aren’t on the SSN court and are back in their club environments is keeping that standard up every single time that they do hit the court whether that’s on a SSN court or in their state league, they need to be playing at the level that will be expected in Botswana.”
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 Squad.
2017 Australian 21/U Squad
Toni ANDERSON (NSW, GIANTS)
Jessica ANSTISS (WA, Fever)
Kiera AUSTIN (NSW, GIANTS Training Partner)
Emily BURGESS (SA, Thunderbirds)
Jane COOK (VIC, Thunderbirds)
Kate EDDY (VIC, Vixens Training Partner)
Rudi ELLIS (NSW, Swifts Training Partner)
Sophie GARBIN (WA, Fever Training Partner)
Matilda GARRETT (VIC, Magpies Training Partner)
Sasha GLASGOW (SA, Thunderbirds Replacement Player)
Samantha GOODEN (VIC, Magpies Training Partner)
Tara HINCHCLIFFE (QLD, Firebirds Training Partner)
Tayla HONEY (VIC, Vixens Replacement Player)
Kimberley JENNER (QLD, Firebirds)
Abigail LATU-MEAFOU (QLD, Firebirds)
Annika LEE-JONES (WA, Fever)
Jemma MI MI (QLD, Firebirds)
Claire O’BRIEN (NSW, Swifts)
Teigan O’SHANNASSY (NSW, GIANTS Training Partner)
Hannah PETTY (SA, Thunderbirds)
Jamie-Lee PRICE (NSW, GIANTS)
Kelsie RAINBOW (TAS, Vixens Training Partner)
Emma RYDE (VIC, Vixens)
Alice TEAGUE-NEELD (VIC, Magpies)
Athletes under the age of 21 years as of 31 December 2016