NSW Swifts Training Partner Nikki Deegenaars has been selected to captain the Netball NSW Waratahs for their 2018 Australian Netball League campaign.
The Manly Warringah representative, who is also a vital player in Briony Akle’s wider NSW Swifts training squad, will be assisted in her duties by fellow Swifts Training Partner Sophie Halpin and Nicole Styles, who make up the leadership group (VIEW FULL SQUAD).
The NNSW Waratahs get their ANL campaign underway with back-to-back fixtures against the Victorian Fury in Melbourne this weekend before hosting the Canberra Giants the following week at the Genea Netball Centre, Sydney Olympic Park (VIEW FULL FIXTURE).
The ANL is Netball Australia’s feeder competition into Suncorp Super Netball, providing a pathway for the development and identification of national athletes. Each ANL team is aligned to a Super Netball team with the Waratahs, as per previous seasons, linked to the NSW Swifts in 2018.
Deegenaars said it was huge honour to lead the NNSW Waratahs in 2018.
“I have always been hugely proud to represent NSW and wear the Waratah,” she said. “We have amazing players here in NSW and to be asked to lead some of the finest is one of the proudest moments I’ve had as an athlete.
“The Australian Netball League is where some of the best talents in Australian netball are found, just look at Sophie Garbin who has kicked on from last year in the ANL to really shine in the Swifts environment.
“Not only will we have players like my fellow Swifts Training Partners in the squad, we will also have some who’ve just returned after a very good showing at Nationals in Adelaide.
“I am really excited by the challenge that lies ahead and, along with Nicole, Sophie and the rest of the team, hope to return NSW to another Grand Final like in 2016.”
NNSW Waratahs Head Coach Colleen Mitchell said she was delighted with her leadership trio ahead of the season start in Melbourne.
“In Nikki, Sophie and Nicole we have three very experienced players who know the importance of wearing a NSW dress in a national competition,” she said.
“They have all been part of various NSW teams for a long time now and know what it takes to lead at this level.
“NSW has a very proud record in the ANL and we are certainly confident of giving ourselves the best chance to play Finals in 2018.
“Our link with the NSW Swifts is also special, and it was a pleasure to see our athletes presented with their dresses by the team after the stunning win over the Firebirds at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.
“The Waratahs are ready for the challenge that lies ahead and looking forward to what promises to be a huge battle with Victoria at the weekend.”