Sommerville to lead NSW

Long-time New South Wales representative Amy Sommerville will lead the 21/U State Team when they contest the 2014 National Netball Championships in Adelaide next month.

Head Coach Megan Simpson announced 21-year-old Sommerville will lead the side as Captain, along with the assistance of Taylah Davies and Sophie Halpin in the Leadership Group.

Selecting the Leadership Group was a peer-voted process, however Simpson said she wouldn’t have chosen differently if the decision was solely her own.

“All three girls display the type of qualities we are looking for from a Leadership Group – they deliver on court, have a professional attitude, and their work ethic and commitment to the program is first class,” Simpson said.

“I fully endorse the decision; the fact the team identified the girls had these qualities shows the level of respect they have amongst the group.

“Amy is highly regarded amongst her peers and has experience leading a team as Captain.  She has a quiet composure about her and a calming influence, which is critical in high pressure situations.  Taylah and Sophie bring a different kind of intensity and with that, a really great balance across the court.

“I have huge confidence in the team, regardless of who is on court.  Preparations are going well and we are looking forward to the tough competition come Nationals in two weeks’ time,” Simpson concluded.

The 2014 competition will be Sommerville’s seventh and final appearance at the National tournament, having risen through the ranks of contesting 17/U, 19/U and 21/U Championships in previous years.

The goal shooter said the announcement came as a shock however she is deeply honoured to take on the responsibility.

“I wasn’t expecting the captaincy as I wasn’t in the team last year after coming back from injury, and there are so many girls in the side who are great leaders and could’ve put their hand up.  That being said it’s very exciting, especially as it’s my last year at Nationals,” Sommerville said.

“The fact the captaincy was voted for by the playing group makes it even more exciting.  It really encourages me to know that I have the support and respect of my teammates, and it’s such a privilege to lead this group.”

After announcing goal shooter Gretel Tippett will miss the 21/U Nationals after sustaining a foot injury, Netball NSW has announced speedy Manly-Warringah shooter Lauren Cantwell will replace Tippett in the goal circle.

Despite the loss of Tippett, Sommerville says there is a real buzz amongst the group as they quickly countdown towards competition time.

“We’re all really excited – everything is coming together now and, although disappointing to lose Gretel, it’s great to have Lauren come on board.  We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing – training hard, looking after ourselves and preparing as best we can.  Hopefully we can come home with the 2014 trophy, but also have a lot of fun while there,” Sommerville said.

NSW will travel to Adelaide’s Netball SA Stadium to contest the 2014 National Netball Championships from Tuesday 11 to Sunday 16 March.  Netball NSW will bring you match-by-match coverage plus behind-the-scenes images and footage from the week.

Simply follow our social media channels to stay up-to-date with NSW’s progress through the tournament:
Instagram @netballnsw – use the hashtags #GoNSW #21Nationals