Four New South Wales athletes have been named in the 2014 Australian 21/U Squad, announced at the conclusion of the 2014 21/U National Netball Championships.
Kristina Brice (Baulkham Hills), Taylah Davies (Sutherland Shire), Kristiana Manu’a (Liverpool City) and Kimberley Ravaillion (QLD Firebirds / Eastwood Ryde) were named in a 22 athlete-strong squad, alongside NSW Swift goal shooter Gretel Tippett.
Newly appointed Australian 21/U Head Coach Tania Obst announced her squad at the tournament presentations following South Australia being crowned the 2014 21/U Champions. The hosts were able to post back-to-back wins after overcoming a spirited Victoria, 43-27, in front of a vocal home crowd at Netball SA Stadium.
Obst said the selectors were impressed by the quality of matches at the 21/U titles, which made choosing the squad difficult.
“There’s been lot of healthy and robust discussions among the selectors and I’m very impressed with the 22 names we’ve put together,” Obst said.
“If any of these athletes are named in the Australian Diamonds team for this year’s Commonwealth Games, which is being announced in May, we will select replacement players.
“There are a number of athletes who have played this week at the 21/U national titles who are still eligible for the 19/U titles in Melbourne next month, so there’s going to be some very talented athletes also available for selection in the national squad for that age group.
“Our High Performance Player Pathway looks very healthy in 2014.”
The squad of 22 also features 11 athletes currently on ANZ Championship lists, including Gia Abernathy and Taylah Davies, both called up as replacement players by the Adelaide Thunderbirds and NSW Swifts respectively.
The 21/U squad will attend a selection trial between Sunday 14 to Tuesday 16 September at the new Netball Centre of Excellence at the AIS Canberra campus, which coincides with an Australian Diamonds training camp.
A week-long tour of New Zealand is also planned in late September and October.
“Gaining international experience in this age group is critical,” Obst said.
“For those girls who represented Australia at the World Youth Cup last year, we’ll be looking for them to continue to develop on the international stage,” Obst said.
Adelaide Thunderbirds and 2013 Australian 21/U Captain Maddy Proud was named Tournament MVP.
2014 Australian 21/U Squad
Gia Abernathy (SA/Adelaide Thunderbirds), Kelly Altmann (SA), Kristina Brice (NSW), Courtney Bruce (WA/West Coast Fever), Taylah Davies (NSW), Beryl Friday (QLD), Sarah Klau (SA), Cody Lange (SA/Adelaide Thunderbirds), Chelsea Lemke (SA), Madeline McAuliffe (QLD), Emily Mannix (VIC), Kristiana Manu’a (NSW), Kate Moloney (VIC/Melbourne Vixens), Madeleine Proud (SA/Adelaide Thunderbirds), Kim Ravaillion (NSW/Queensland Firebirds), Kaylia Stanton (WA/West Coast Fever), Gretel Tippett (QLD/NSW Swifts), Maddy Turner (SA), Georgie Virgo (SA), Chloe Watson (VIC), Elizabeth Watson (VIC/Melbourne Vixens), Joanna Weston (VIC/Melbourne Vixens).
2014 National Netball Championships – Finals Results
SF: South Australia 58 d Queensland 36
SF: Victoria 36 d New South Wales 32
5v6: Western Australia 55 d Australian Capital Territory 45
P/O: New South Wales 70 d Queensland 28
GF: South Australia 43 d Victoria 27