Netball Queensland’s next generation of talent will be on display when the Queensland 17/U and 19/U State teams fly to Sydney over the weekend to begin their National Netball Championship campaigns.
Defending Champions, the 19/U team, led by Coach, Christine Voge, will be again looking to steer her team to another successful tournament.
“We are going there to defend our title. We have spoken about that from early on as a team, we are going to Nationals to win,” Voge said.
“Myself and the girls who were part of the team last year know what it takes to win.”
Voge has been going through a rebuilding phase this year after loosing all but four players from her 2014 Championship winning team, but said she is happy with her team’s preparation.
“It has been a good prep since the beginning of the year and we have been training every week getting ready,” Voge said.
“The girls have been working really hard and we have no injury concerns. We are physically and mentally ready and I am quiet pleased where they are at going into National next week.”
Voge said her young team does boast a lot of Nationals experience retaining star shooter and 2014 19/U Nationals MVP, Cara Koenen.
19-year-old Koenen, who hales from Magnetic Island, now living on the Gold Coast and made her debut as an injury replacement player for the Mission Queensland Firebirds last month, replacing fellow Queensland player Beryl Friday.
“Cara has another 12 months experience under her belt along with a season in the Fusion playing in the Australian Netball League which has definitely assisted her development,” Voge said.
“We will be looking for our Captain, Ashlee Unie and Vice-Captain, Josephine Hungerford to lead on and off the court.”
Emma Cook from Ashgrove will debut for the 19/U State team and Georgie Briggs who has been representing Tasmania will wear the maroon dress for the first time. Voge said both these girls will add to the depth of experience in the new-look Queensland team.
Voge said the rest of the team has moved up from last year’s 17 age group so they have some Nationals experience under their belt and know what is expected of them to bring home another title to Queensland.
“A lot of those 17/U girls were there cheering us on when we were playing in the grand final last year so they know what it is like and would love to be there playing for the gold this year.
17/U Coach, Amanda Vanderwal is excited about leading her young charges for the third year in a row and said this age group is a little bit of the unknown.
“This is the entry level for Netball Australia pathways so it is always a learning experience for these young athletes,” Vanderwal said.
Vanderwal is confident her young team can grab some wins and build on their fourth place finish in 2014.
“The athletes have put in a lot of effort in the lead up and we have a lot of different options and strategies to apply. The girls are looking forward to putting these in to action on court,” Vanderwal said.
“It is about performing in each game and taking opportunities that present themselves and play to our strengths.”
17/U and 19/U Nationals run from Tuesday April 14 with finals being played on Sunday April 19 in Sydney. Updates on both team’s progress will be posted on the Netball Queensland website, Twitter and Facebook page.
19/U Queensland State Team
Georgie Briggs – Netball Queensland
Emma Cook – Downey Park
Bryah Gafa – South Coast
Mia Henderson – Western Districts
Kobe Howard – Downey Park
Josephine Hungerford – Sunshine Coast
Cara Koenen – Caboolture
Abigail Latu-Meafou – Jimboomba
Chloe Litherland – Caboolture
Ally McLeod – Brisbane
Lenora Misa – Logan City
Ashlee Unie – Sunshine Coast
Coach: Christine Voge
Assistant Coach: Linda Peterson
Manager: Carly Richardson
17/U Queensland State Team
Alexia Baker – Downey Park
Claudia Fitzpatrick – Downey Park
Clare Frost – Western Districts
Jada Gafa – South Coast
Maddison Hinchliffe – Brisbane
Tara Hinchliffe – Brisbane
Rylie Holland – Downey Park
Binnian Hunt – Pine Rivers
Kimberley Jenner – Townsville City
Julia Robinson – Downey Park
Annabella Sorby – Sunshine Coast
Danielle Taylor – MacGregor
Coach: Amanda Vanderwal
Assistant Coach: Shaye Gillett
Manager: Elizabeth White