NSW prepare for local ANL derby

This Wednesday evening, 13 August, the Netball NSW (NNSW) Blues and NNSW Waratahs will conclude Week 6 of the 2014 Australian Netball League (ANL) when they meet in the local derby at the Anne Clark Centre at 7pm.

The two sides go into Wednesday’s match on the back of strong outings in Week 6 games played at Adelaide’s Netball SA Stadium over the weekend (9-10 August) with the NNSW Blues pushing the ANZ Championship talent-laden Western Sting, and the NNSW Waratahs overpowering the Southern Force.

While the NNSW Waratahs are the more experienced team, Head Coach Anita Keelan has been impressed by the NNSW Blues recent outings.

“The NNSW Blues are a really exciting team,” said Keelan.

“We arrived early into Adelaide on Saturday to cheer them on against the Western Sting, and they are not only a young side, but a very talented one.

“They are getting better with every game and connecting really well, so it’s going to be a really good game on Wednesday night,” Keelan predicted.

The NNSW Waratahs are currently sitting on eight points, a win outside the Top 4 in fifth position, and may have to win all their remaining three games to secure a Finals berth.

“Wednesday night is really crucial to us, so we’ll be coming out firing to claim those two points, and hopefully take that momentum into Week 7 when we face the two Victorian teams,” concluded Keelan.

Following her team’s strong performance against the Western Sting, NNSW Blues’ Head Coach Briony Akle said her charges belief has grown with every game and they are very much looking forward to taking on their skilled compatriots in the NSW Derby.

“We go into Wednesday’s game knowing we can perform at the highest level against these really good teams and individually good players,” Akle said.

“Before we would’ve been a bit star struck, but we’ve now got the confidence to go out there on Wednesday and know we can play against our own and perform well.”

The NSW Derby will be the NNSW Blues final game in this year’s ANL campaign, and reflecting back on her first year as Head Coach of an ANL side, Akle was full of praise for her NNSW Blues’ team.

“I’ve just loved every bit of the role. I’ve probably loved it because we’ve gotten better every week, and even though we haven’t won a lot of games on the scoreboard, I think…these girls can walk away knowing they’ve had a really good campaign,” concluded Akle.

Wednesday night’s game will be the final ANL game contested at the Anne Clark Centre before Netball NSW moves to its new centre of excellence – Netball Central.

Tickets start from $3, with Family Passes available for purchase when the doors open at 6pm.

2014 Netball NSW Blues (to be reduced to 12 players ahead of game day)
Toni Anderson – Sutherland Shire
Keira Austin – Eastwood Ryde
Nicole Deegenaars – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Billie Gurr – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Sophie Halpin – Eastwood Ryde
Kirra Jones – Illawarra
Georgia Marshall – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Lauren Moore – Wyong
Claire O’Brien – St George
Holly Pearce – St George
Claudia Russell – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Tanisha Stanton – Eastwood Ryde
Kara Styles – St George
Donnay Van Taak –  Sutherland Shire
Lauren Yager – Sutherland Shire
Head Coach: Briony Akle
Assistant Coach: Amber Cross
Team Manager: Debra Hanson
Physiotherapist: Justin Walsh

2014 Netball NSW Waratahs
Kristina Brice – Baulkham Hills
Kaitlyn Bryce – St George
Jessica Calderara – Eastwood Ryde
Maddie Hay – Baulkham Hills
Emily Keenan – Eastwood Ryde
Kristiana Manu’a – St George
Brooke Miller – Eastwood Ryde
Leah Shoard – Sutherland Shire
Amy Sommerville – Eastwood Ryde
Nicole Styles – St George
Melissa Tallent – Sutherland Shire
Elly Willan – City of Sydney / Sydney University
Head Coach: Anita Keelan
Assistant Coach: Moira Gaha
Team Manager: Maureen Stephenson
Physiotherapist: Kate MacDermid