The Netball NSW Waratahs began their 2014 Australian Netball League (ANL) preparations over the weekend, with a trip to Canberra to participate in match play against some of the best young talent from around Australia.
The NSW side travelled to AIS Arena to meet the Australian 19/U Squad, including NSW athletes Toni Anderson, Billie Gurr, Georgia Marshall, Tanisha Stanton and Lauren Yager, who were attending a five-day camp, with practice matches scheduled for their final day.
After announcing the 12 athletes to run out for the NNSW Waratahs in mid-May, Netball Australia invited Netball NSW to send their top ANL team to the camp to help with match play, offering a great opportunity for players to get used to each other’s playing style so early in their campaign.
With Head Coach Anita Keelan in New Zealand with the NSW Swifts, Assistant Coach Moira Gaha took the reins of the NNSW Waratahs for the weekend and said it was great to get the team together for some good old fashioned match play.
“The girls came together well and there was a lot of good talk out there on court, and also in the change rooms. It’s a good sign to see so early in our campaign,” Gaha said.
“It was great to be able to try out some simple things like our placement, attacking structures and defensive strategies. As well as opportunities to try some of our combinations together and give the younger players court time.”
It wasn’t just Keelan who was missing from the weekend, with four athletes also unavailable including NSW Swifts Maddie Hay and Brooke Miller.
That presented an opportunity for four Netball NSW Blues to be brought into the team including 2014 NSW 21/U Vice Captain Sophie Halpin, Australian and NSW 17/U teammates Kiera Austin and Kirra Jones, as well as athletic defender Kara Styles.
“It was great experience for these young NNSW Blues players to compete against the Aussie 19s, many of whom are older and more experienced, particularly for players like Kirra and Keira who only experienced their first Nationals [Netball Championships] this year,” Gaha said.
“All in all it was good chance for us to just get out there and play netball, and has given us some great things to work on at training leading up to our first game.”
The NNSW Waratahs begin their ANL season at home in Week 2, hosting the Canberra Darters at the Anne Clark Centre on Saturday 12 July. NSW netball fans can come out and see some of the best netballing talent on show, so make sure you get down to cheer on our NSW teams!
View the NNSW Waratahs 2014 Home Games at the Anne Clark Centre below:
6:45pm Saturday 12 July: NNSW Waratahs v Canberra Darters
12:00pm Sunday 13 July: NNSW Waratahs v Tassie Spirit
7:00pm Wednesday 13 August: NNSW Waratahs v NNSW Blues
Entry fees are below. Prices are per day.
Adult = $6 Concession, Student, Child (3-17yo) = $3 Family (2A/2C or 1A/ 3C) = $15
2014 Netball NSW Waratahs
Kristina Brice – Baulkham Hills
Kaitlyn Bryce – St George
Jessica Calderara – Eastwood Ryde
Maddie Hay – Baulkham Hills
Emily Keenan – Eastwood Ryde
Kristiana Manu’a – St George
Brooke Miller – Eastwood Ryde
Leah Shoard – Sutherland Shire
Amy Sommerville – Eastwood Ryde
Nicole Styles – St George
Melissa Tallent – Sutherland Shire
Elly Willan – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Head Coach: Anita Keelan
Assistant Coach: Moira Gaha
Team Manager: Maureen Stephenson
Physiotherapist: Kate MacDermid