BRICE & BRYCE – the NSW 21s Campaign Begins!

The New South Wales 21/U Team is gearing up for a huge campaign, with the team beginning their 2013 Nationals preparations with their first training session on Tuesday night at Anne Clark Centre. caught up with the two ‘Brice/Bryce’ girls – Kristina Brice and Kaitlyn Bryce – as they prepare to take on some of the best up-and-coming netball talent from around the country in March.

The girls will train with the 21/U State Team at Anne Clark Centre and NSWIS, before making the journey to Canberra at the completion of the National Netball Championships to join the AIS netball program for the 2013 season.

2013 21/U National Netball Championships: held at ACT Netball Centre in Canberra, Tuesday 14 – Sunday 17 March.

Catching up with Krissy Brice and Kaity Bryce….

How are you enjoying being back at training ahead of a huge 2013?
KRISSY:  I actually haven’t had too much of a break from training – apart from one week between Christmas and New Years, I’ve been in the gym five days a week preparing for a huge 2013 season.  But in terms of getting back onto the court with my NSW 21/U teammates it’s great to finally get together and start preparing for Nationals in March.

KAITY:  I was only saying to the girls at training last Tuesday night, I can’t believe how quickly it has come around! It’s great to be able to get back into training as a group, and also to link up with my Sutherland Shire Waratah Cup coach Maria Lynch – I love playing for Maria.

After a massive 2012, how did you enjoy the break over the summer? What did you get up to?
KRISSY:  I spent so many months away from home in Canberra at the AIS last year, and then was on tour with the Australian 21/U Team to the Caribbean in November, so it was nice just to spend some time at home in Sydney with my family and friends.
When I wasn’t in the gym I went to the beach, hung out with my friends, spent time with the family…just normal stuff!

KAITY:  I loved having some time off – I went home to Shoalhaven for three weeks and just veged!  I had no schedule, didn’t have to cook but enjoy Mum’s yummy dinners, went to the beach every day…was a nice holiday at home and it was good to just wind down for awhile and relax.

What have you been working on during off-season?
KRISSY:  I’ve done a lot of shooting practice over the break, just trying to improve my accuracy and making sure I’m prepared for the start of a busy season; I also started back into weights training at the beginning of January.
Emily, the AIS Strength & Conditioning Coach, provided me with a program to follow over the break, so it’s been nice to stick to routine at the gym.

KAITY:  I really wanted to work on my fitness during the break away from the court, so I had my own personal mantra to ‘put the ball down’.  Since I am joining the AIS netball program as a midcourt player for this year, I want to make sure I am as fit as possible to be able to play a full match – plus I know this will be a massive year for me so I want to be as prepared as much as I can!

Kristina – what advice will you give to your teammates who are embarking on their first National Netball Championship campaign?
KRISSY:  Obviously it’s always special being selected to represent NSW at Nationals, but my advice to those teammates is just to enjoy the experience and take in as much as possible, because you never know if you’ll get the same experience again.

Kaitlyn – how did it feel winning the 17/U national title and being named tournament MVP last year?
KAITY:  Last year was so action packed for me, 17/U Nationals feel so long ago! But I clearly remember the feeling of that final whistle being blown in the Grand Final, and the sense of relief and excitement about having won the title!
In terms of being named MVP, I never expected it at all; there were so many great players from around the country who had a great tournament, but it’s a huge honour and after putting in so much hard work, it’s nice to get that kind of recognition.

Kristina – for the second year you’ll be part of the AIS netball program – what goals have you set yourself for 2013?
KRISSY:  My main aim for this year is to keep improving and to put myself in the best possible position to be considered for the World Youth Netball Championships being held in Glasgow, Scotland in August.
Otherwise I’m a player who likes to set specific goals for individual games – go in there with a plan and try to execute it.

Kaitlyn – you played ANL last season with the Netball NSW Waratahs – how has that experience prepared you to play in the 21/U competition?
KAITY:  Playing ANL last year has helped me in a big way. I didn’t realise how much I needed to grow as a player, and playing with the Netball NSW Waratahs really helped me both physically and mentally; so now I feel I’m totally ready to take the next step into 21s.

Stay tuned to and for the latest updates on the NSW 21/U Team as they prepare for the 2013 21/U National Netball Championship.

2013 NSW 21/U Team
Kristina Brice, Kaitlyn Bryce, Taylah Davies, Sophie Halpin, Karli Ireland, Katie Maguire, Kristiana Manu’a, Alix McDermott, Brooke Miller, Amy Sommerville, Courtney Torpy, Emma Turner.
Head Coach: Maria Lynch
Assistant Coach: Dianne Brown
Manager: Jaqua Heddle