Rising Netball Queensland star Jemma Mi Mi has been selected in Australia’s Netball World Youth Cup squad ahead of next year’s tournament in Botswana.
The mid-courter was the only Queenslander selected in the 20-player squad, who will battle through further rounds of cuts early next year before a final team is picked.
Mi Mi said her selection vindicated a season of intense dedication which started with selection as a shadow player with Queensland under 21s.
“When I was picked for Queensland under 21s as a shadow player I went to every training and put all my effort in. My attitude was that you never know what could happen,” Mi Mi said.
“Mahalia Cassidy hurt her quad and unfortunately wasn’t able to go to nationals, so I was brought into the team. I played a lot of time at wing attack and centre as we finished third.
“Australian selection off the back of that is definitely very exciting. It’s been a goal since trials for Queensland under 21s and it feels real that I can do it.”
The tournament has a track record of producing elite competitors, with current Firebirds Kim Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson and Gretel Tippett members of Australia’s 2013 team.
Mi Mi’s squad selection was all the more impressive after a recent year off from the sport to pursue her other love of touch football, with her reintroduction to the netball court fast tracked through a tough QSNL season with the Brisbane South Wildcats.
Mi Mi said she hopes the experience will help her capture the attention of elite coaches and land a National Netball League roster spot for 2017.
“I hope some (NNL) coaches will approach me. However if that doesn’t happen, I’ll be aiming for a spot with Queensland Fusion and will return to QSNL to see where it takes me,” she said.
“Getting to the next stage of the Aussie selections gave me lots of confidence. I’ve been training in the Netball Queensland elite development program which has really helped me improve my game.
“We have another camp in November and the squad will be cut again for a Fiji tour in January. It gives me something to focus on. There lots of things I want to improve individually – I am looking forward to gelling with the girls and doing Queensland proud.”