The Queensland 17/U and 19/U state teams have returned from the National Netball Championships in Perth with a bronze medal and their heads held high.
The bronze medal, won by the 17/U side in an upset, closely-fought battle for a podium spot against the highly fancied Victoria 31-29, was “very, very deserving,” said coach Tracey Jeanes-Fraser.
“I am absolutely ecstatic with the result and team,” she said.
“We only had one player from the 12-member team from 2015, so for 11 newly inducted Queensland representatives to come together was so exciting. They blossomed.”
“Our captains were outstanding. Jada Gafa and Vice Rosie Gale led the group exceptionally throughout the week.
“They kept the morale high when we suffered losses and on track for our goal which was to finish with a medal.”
Coach Jeanes- Fraser is hoping the team’s hard work and fighting spirit will be rewarded with players chosen in the Australian squad announced on Wednesday.
In the 19/U age titles, Queensland defeated the ACT 37-21 to finish fifth and with the praise and pride of their coach.
“They represented Queensland exceptionally well,” said coach Megan Lynch.
“I was especially proud of the way the team handled the injury blows,” she said.
It was a tough campaign for the team with two athletes ruled out with injury leading up to the championship; the latest replacement player brought in just four days before the team left for Western Australia.
Tara Hinchcliffe busted her right ankle leading up to the competition and was replaced.
In a curious twist, her twin sister Maddie then went over on her opposite ankle in the first quarter of the first game.
“We lost our mid court player Maddie, which was devastating for her and we ran with 11 players for the rest of the competition,” Lynch said.
“The team just kept working hard and finished the week very strongly,” she said.
“I’m hopeful selectors will recognise the talent and quality of our team when the Australian 19/U squad in a few week.”