The NSW netball community will have twice the number of chances to catch some of the country’s best athletes in action after Netball Australia confirmed a new-look competition restructure to the 2016 Australian Netball League (ANL).
The eight-week ANL season has been moved to run in conjunction with the 2016 ANZ Championship and is scheduled to begin on the weekend of 30 April-1 May in Brisbane and Melbourne, with Netball NSW to host the Finals Series in June; the first time NSW will host the Final Round since the inaugural season in 2008.
In a major boost to the profile of the competition, six matches during the season will be played as part of double headers with ANZ Championship games, including the NSW Swifts’ Round 11 Newcastle fixture.
The Netball NSW Waratahs will meet the Western Sting at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Saturday 11 June, and will also host the Canberra Darters at Netball Central in early May.
Entering its ninth season, Netball Australia is committed to ensuring the ANL remains a vital national pathway for athletes, coaches and umpires well into the future.
Netball Australia’s Head of High Performance Andrew Collins said aligning the ANL with the world’s best netball competition would allow for greater movement of athletes between teams.
“The Australian Netball League is a very important competition for the development and progression of our best talent,” Collins said.
“We want to raise the profile of the competition and also allow ANZ Championship contracted athletes to come back and compete on a regular basis during the season.
“We want to continue to challenge our athletes, raise the standard of the ANL and ensure that it continues to be a greater feeder competition to the ANZ Championship. We are confident that the changes implemented for 2016 will do that.”
Collins said the 2016 season would consist of six teams with Tassie Spirit and Territory Storm taking a 12-month break from the competition with a view to returning for 2017. Both teams have played every season of the ANL since its inception in 2008.
“The 2016 ANL season will be very competitive,” Collins said.
“We are optimistic that the work we are doing in partnership with Netball Tasmania and Netball NT to develop some of their best young talent will see them returning to the ANL with competitive teams in 2017.”
The selection process for the 2016 Netball NSW Waratahs will be announced in the New Year. Netball NSW has only claimed one ANL title since 2008, with Rob Wright-led NNSW Waratahs being crowned undefeated Champions in 2011.
Ticket prices and purchase information for NNSW Waratahs home games will be announced by Netball NSW in 2016.
|2016 NNSW Waratahs ANL Fixtures|
|Sat 30 Apr||QLD Fusion v NNSW Waratahs||Ormiston College, QLD|
|Sun 1 May||QLD Fusion v NNSW Waratahs||Hibiscus Sports Centre, QLD|
|Sat 7 May||NNSW Waratahs v Canberra Darters||Netball Central, NSW|
|Sun 8 May||NNSW Waratahs v Canberra Darters||Netball Central, NSW|
|Sat 14 May||VIC Fury v NNSW Waratahs||State Netball & Hockey Centre, VIC|
|Sun 15 May||VIC Fury v NNSW Waratahs||Hisense Arena, VIC|
|Sat 11 June||NNSW Waratahs v Western Sting||Newcastle Entertainment Centre, NSW|
|Sun 12 June||NNSW Waratahs v Western Sting||Netball Central, NSW|
|Sat 18 June||Southern Force v NNSW Waratahs||Adelaide Arena, SA|
|Sun 19 June||Southern Force v NNSW Waratahs||Netball SA Stadium, SA|
|Sat 25 June||Semi Finals||Netball Central, NSW|
|Sun 26 June||Grand Final||Netball Central, NSW|
2016 ANL Teams
Victorian Fury – 6 Titles (2008-2010, 2013-2015)
Southern Force – 1 Title (2012)
Netball NSW Waratahs – 1 Title (2011)
ANL MVPs – NNSW Waratahs
Kristina Brice – 2014 (co-MVP with Sting’s Ashleigh Brazill)
Kristy Guthrie – 2012
Amorette Wild – 2010
ANL Leading Goal Scorer
Kristina Brice – 468 goals @ 93%