Whilst the 2015 Australian Netball League (ANL) season is only reaching its halfway point, Week 3 will have an immediate impact on the Netball NSW (NNSW) Waratahs Finals chances when they travel to Perth for a double-header at the newly unveiled State Netball Centre.
After posting just one win from four appearances, the NNSW Waratahs are now in a precarious position, with a loss to Western Sting this Saturday 4 July taking their Finals fate out of their hands.
Speaking to NetballNSWTV, Head Coach Anita Keelan is matter-of-fact about their position saying nothing but two wins this weekend will be acceptable.
“It’s do-or-die this weekend. We actually have to win all of our [remaining] games [to make the Finals], so it’s a similar situation that we were in with [NSW] Swifts,” Keelan claimed.
“It’s familiar territory, but we also welcome back [Swifts] Steph Wood and Taylah Davies this weekend, so we’re really hoping that will make a big difference to our girls.
“But in saying that, last week was a great opportunity for some of our junior players who really did step up and got a lesson about what the next level of netball is all about, which I think will put us in good stead in the future,” Keelan stated.
After meeting hosts Sting on Saturday, NSW will back up to meet Territory Storm on Sunday 5 July before returning home. Keelan said she is looking on an improved performance from Week 2 where the side lost to ANZ Championship-laden Southern Force and QLD Fusion.
“The Sting are going to be tough competition – they’ve got quite a few [Australian 21/U players] that have just been announced in the team [yesterday] so we’re definitely going to have our hands full but we will give it our best,” Keelan said.
“I’d like some consistency [this week]. Our basic skills last week were probably nowhere near where they should be – I’m not sure if it was fatigue after the [DOOLEYS State League Waratah Cup] Grand Final – but disappointing and certainly not of the standard that I would expect from our Waratahs.
“I would hope this week we train hard, get a little bit more focus around doing the simple things well, and I’m looking for an improved performance… if we can do that, we’re going to stay competitive,” Keelan stated.
19/U National Champion Ashley Valeni has been once again called into the side as temporary replacement for injured Captain Jessica Calderara, who continues to work with medical staff on her injured ankle.
Valeni’s NSW 19/U teammate Claire O’Brien also returns to the side as replacement for NSW Swift Micaela Wilson, who continues to monitor an ankle injury sustained during the 2015 ANZ Championship.
Watch the full NetballNSWTV interview with Anita Keelan below;
Catch the NNSW Waratahs LIVE in action!
The Netball NSW Waratahs host their one-and-only match at home for the 2015 Australian Netball League season on Saturday 11 July, when they take on the Canberra Darters at Netball NSW’s brand new $35 million centre of excellence, Netball Central.
The match starts at 3:00pm, with doors open from 2:00pm, so come along and catch all the action from some of the best and brightest upcoming NSW netball talent on show!
Tickets can be purchased over the phone. Contact Netball NSW Membership and Ticketing Coordinator Rebecca Donaldson on (02) 9951 5000 during business hours.