NSW representative Kristina Brice was this morning announced by the ANZ Championship as the 2016 season’s Best New Talent.
After earning a spot as temporary replacement player for the Adelaide Thunderbirds’ Carla Borrego, Brice had been a constant presence in the side since Round 4 in the absence of the veteran shooter.
The 22-year-old notched up eight appearances in a breakout ANZ Championship season, with 226 goals from 262 attempts at 86 per cent accuracy, coming up against some of the league’s best.
In 2015 Brice played one quarter for the Thunderbirds against the Melbourne Vixens, however did not train regularly with the team.
“I moved to Adelaide to do all the training not expecting to get on court. Being able to get out there and have a go has been a bonus,” explained Brice.
Brice has progressed through both State and National high performance pathways. The shooter holds the record for most goals scored by an individual in an Australian Netball League (ANL) season, which she set in 2014 – the same season Brice was named co-MVP with fellow NSW representative Ashleigh Brazill (West Coast Fever).
She held a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport, representing the AIS ANL team (2012-2013), before returning to her home state and playing with the Netball NSW Waratahs (2014-2015). In 2016 she was named a training partner for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, moving to the city of churches to play for Southern Force before being called up as a Thunderbirds replacement player.
According to the shooter, the Australian Netball League has proven to be invaluable in her development.
“The ANL gives you the experience of playing with players who are in the ANZ Championship, who may not be getting court time (at ANZ Championship level), so they help pass on all their knowledge. It provides solid competition each week.”
Brice follows in the footsteps of formidable international shooters Mwai Kumwenda and Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who were named the Best New Talent in 2014 and 2013 respectively.
A long-time State representative, Brice has represented NSW at 17/U, 19/U and 21/U National Netball Championships from 2011-2015 – the latter in which she was crowned 2012 National Champions. The 196cm goal shooter was also selected in the 17/U, 19/U and 21/U Australian squads from 2011-2013, and represented the green and gold at the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow alongside the likes of ANZ Championship athletes Paige Hadley (NSW Swifts), Kim Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson, Gretel Tippett (QLD Firebirds), Courtney Bruce (West Coast Fever), Kate Shimmin (Adelaide Thunderbirds) and Jo Weston (Melbourne Vixens).