Netball Queensland’s next generation of talent will be on display when the Queensland U17 & U19 State teams fly to Melbourne over the weekend to begin their National Championship campaigns.
Led by coaches Amanda Vanderwal and Christine Vogue both teams are well placed to finish in the top three with U17’s coach coach Vanderwal is excited about leading her young chargers for the second year but 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.
“A lot of them had not even been in a weights room prior to this program and all of the girls have made some tremendous gains in strength and fitness and have even set some new records in the gym,” she said.
Vanderwal is confident her young team can use their new found fitness and strength and grab some wins and build on their fifth place finish in 2013.
“The athletes have in a lot of effort in the lead up and we have a lot of different options and strategies to apply so the girls are looking forward to putting these in to action on court,” Vanderwal said.
“This team goes 12 deep and there is not a player we as coaching staff do not feel confident putting on the court as each athlete was selected specifically for different attributes,” she said.
Vanderwal is looking at her leadership group Lenora Misa, Hayley Walsh, Bryah Gafa to contribute to the team on and off the court especially in a tough game first up.
“We have a very good leadership group and they all contribute to that role,” Vanderwal said.
“Our first game is going to be tough against Western Australia who were runners up last year and they carry a lot of height so we are walking in to nationals with a challenging game first up,” she said.
But it is about performing in each game and taking to opportunities that present themselves and play to our strengths.
U17 and U19 Nationals run from Monday April 7 with finals being played on Saturday April 12 in Melbourne. Updates on both teams progress will be posted on the Netball Queensland website, Twitter and Facebook page.