Netball NSW is pleased to confirm Jessica Calderara will lead the Netball NSW Waratahs as Captain during the 2015 Australian Netball League (ANL) season.
27-year-old Calderara will be assisted by Nikki Deegenaars as Vice Captain throughout the six-week national competition, which starts tomorrow in Canberra with the NNSW Waratahs taking on the Victorian Fury at the Australian Institute of Sport’s Frank Stewart Training Hall.
Head Coach Anita Keelan said Calderara had already shown great leadership throughout the NNSW Waratahs preparations, and she had full confidence the defender would continue to lead from the front both on-and-off the court throughout their 2015 campaign.
“Jess is a wonderful advocate for netball; she is a hard-working, dedicated athlete who leads from the front and inspires her teammates,” Keelan stated.
“The Leadership process involved a peer-voted system, with the players unanimously deciding on Jess which I think shows the level of respect she commands in the group. Just like her teammates, I have full confidence that Jess will be a great Captain.
“Jess will also be well supported by ‘Deegs’ [Nikki Deegenaars] who is another strong NSW athlete that shows commitment to everything she does. Deegs was Vice Captain of the Netball NSW Blues in 2014, and her graduation into the NNSW Waratahs shows the faith the playing group have in her leadership capabilities,” Keelan claimed.
Whilst exciting news for Calderara and Deegenaars, their positions come at the cost of midcourter Emily Keenan who has withdrawn from the NNSW Waratahs following an injury sustained in the 2015 DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup Preliminary Final last Wednesday 17 June.
Keenan collided with another player, falling heavily on her arm and was taken to hospital. Scans have confirmed the 33-year-old will miss all six weeks of the ANL tournament.
“Emily was going to be announced our Captain after getting one more Captaincy vote than Jess, however her injury on Wednesday has forced us to replace her in the NNSW Waratahs squad,” Keelan admitted.
“It’s a real blow because not only is Emily an extremely talented and experienced athlete, she brings strong leadership to the group and will clearly be missed by the coaches and her teammates.
“We wish Emily all the best for a speedy recovery, and look forward to seeing her sidelines soon to cheer on the NNSW Waratahs,” Keelan concluded.
Keenan’s Eastwood Ryde teammate Jacqueline Rikard-Bell has been called into the NNSW Waratahs as a permanent replacement for the injured midcourter. It will be the 27-year-old’s debut ANL season; however the speedy midcourter isn’t a stranger to representative netball having contested the 2008 21/U National Netball Championships with NSW.
It’s also been confirmed Australian 19/U representative Claire O’Brien will travel with the squad to Canberra as a temporary replacement for the three Swifts who will be in Brisbane to contest the 2015 ANZ Championship Grand Final.
2015 Netball NSW Waratahs – Week 1 Team
Kiera AUSTIN (Eastwood Ryde)
Kimberly BORGER (St George)
Kristina BRICE (CSNA/Sydney Uni)
Kaitlyn BRYCE (St George)
Jessica CALDERARA (Eastwood Ryde)
Nikki DEEGENAARS (CSNA/Syd Uni)
Maddie HAY (Sutherland Shire)
Lauren MOORE (Central Coast)
Jacqueline RIKARD-BELL (Eastwood Ryde)
Amy SOMMERVILLE (Eastwood Ryde)
Kara STYLES (St George)
Nicole STYLES (St George/Team Northumbria)
Replacement: Claire O’BRIEN (St George)
Head Coach: Anita Keelan
Assistant Coaches: Briony Akle & Moira Gaha
Team Manager: Maureen Stephenson