Netball NSW’s (NNSW) Australian Netball League (ANL) teams will open their 2014 ANL campaigns this weekend at home when the NNSW Blues and NNSW Waratahs host the Canberra Darters and Tassie Spirit at the Anne Clark Centre.
Both visiting sides began their season’s last weekend in Launceston, but it will be the NSW teams first appearance on court – so make sure you come down to cheer on your home teams!
2013 Runners-Up NNSW Waratahs will open the action on Saturday 12 July when they take on the Darters at 6:45pm, before the NNSW Blues have their first hit-out at 8:30pm against the Spirit. The netball continues on Sunday 13 July with the NNSW Waratahs’ turn to meet the Spirit at midday, before the NNSW Blues take on the Darters at 2pm.
First-time ANL Head Coach Briony Akle is excited for the NNSW Blues to finally put their preparations into action during their season openers.
“This weekend has definitely crept up on us, but I’m excited it’s here and the players are ready to get underway,” Akle said.
“The girls have been training really hard; we’ve had some match play so now it’s time to test those combinations out against the Darters and Spirit. For many of them it will also be their first taste at ANL action, so we will look at getting everyone on court to expose them to the competition.
“To be able to play our first games at home is a huge bonus. There’s nothing like stepping out on court in front of NSW supporters, so hopefully there will be lots out to help cheer us and the NNSW Waratahs and make a great atmosphere,” Akle said.
NNSW Waratahs Head Coach Anita Keelan echoed her counterpart’s comments, saying the support of a home crowd adds an extra element to the weekend.
“No doubt being at home, in front of family and NSW supporters, boosts the team both on and off the court. Many of our players were on court for the DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup Semi Finals last night [Wednesday 9 July], so to back it up this weekend is going to require a big effort and home crowd advantage goes a long way in helping,” Keelan said.
“We’re pumped – we‘re ready to put all our preparations into action; to see how our combinations are developing and to really test ourselves. The players are keen to finally get underway and hopefully a big, vocal home crowd will help us over the line against the Darters and Spirit.”
NSW isn’t the only State to host ANL action this weekend, with the two Victorian sides – the Flames and defending Champions Fury – along with Territory Storm travelling West to take on the Western Sting at Challenge Stadium.
If you can’t make it out this weekend to watch some of the best NSW netballing talent in action, then make sure you put a circle around Wednesday 12 August for the NSW ANL Derby!
Players will take the court at 7pm, pitting the experience of the NNSW Waratahs against the up-and-coming talent of the NNSW Blues; so make sure your courtside at the Anne Clark Centre to cheer on NSW.
NetballNSWTV caught up with Akle last week to gauge how the NNSW Blues preparations were coming along. View the interview below:
You can follow all the action via Netball NSW’s social media channels! Get score updates on Facebook and Twitter, as well as behind-the-scenes on Instagram – use the hashtag #ANL2014 #GoNSW to get in on the action!
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|2014 Australian Netball League – Week 2 Fixtures|
|ANNE CLARK CENTRE, NSW|
|Saturday 12 July||NNSW Waratahs v Canberra Darters||6:45pm*|
|NNSW Blues v Tassie Spirit||8:30pm|
|Sunday 13 July||NNSW Waratahs v Tassie Spirit||12:00pm|
|NNSW Blues v Canberra Darters||2:00pm|
|CHALLENGE STADIUM, WA|
|Friday 11 July||Western Sting v Territory Storm||8:30pm|
|Saturday 12 July||VIC Flames v Territory Storm||6:30pm|
|Western Sting v VIC Fury||8:30pm|
|Sunday 13 July||VIC Fury v Territory Storm||11:00am|
|Western Sting v VIC Flames||1:00pm|
*all times in AEST