Selectors have named the Australian 21/U squad following the 2015 21/U National Netball Championships with three Queenslanders from the bronze medal winning team named in the squad.
Queensland Captain and Mission Queensland Firebirds shooter Beryl Friday, mid-courter Mahalia Cassidy and defender Hulita Haukinima were all named in a talented squad.
Australian 21/U coach Tania Obst said the selection panel, which also included Netball Australia’s National Pathway Manager Stacey West and Netball Queensland’s Elite Development Program coach Kylee Byrne, were impressed by the quality of matches played throughout the week.
“We’ve had great discussions and then been able to watch really good match play throughout the week and today’s Finals,” Obst said.
“I’m very impressed with the calibre of talent we have chosen. Australian netball is in a really healthy position with the quality of players at this age group level.”
The squad of 22 also features 10 athletes currently on ANZ Championship lists.
That includes Victorian duo and 2014 Melbourne Vixens’ premiership players Liz Watson and Jo Weston, Queensland shooter Friday, West Australian shooter Kaylia Stanton and New South Wales defender Kristiana Manu’a, who is playing for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.
“This is a squad that has got very good depth with a variety of game styles,” Obst said.
“We’ve selected a variety of athletes that will provide depth and talent that will leverage successfully for Australia’s future.”
This year’s 21/U squad will have a training camp in Sydney and play practice matches against the Australian Diamonds and New Zealand Silver Ferns ahead of the Netball World Cup 2015 SYDNEY in August.
“Gaining international experience in this age group is critical,” Obst said.
“What a great opportunity for those young athletes to play against the Diamonds and Silver Ferns and show the depth that we have here in Australia.
“The experience that this group will gain by being immersed in the preparations for the Netball World Cup 2015 SYDNEY will hopefully push these athletes onto Diamonds selection in the future.”
Netball Australia thanks the Australian Commonwealth Games Association for its support of the Australian 21/U team through the Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program.
The 2015 Australian 21/U squad is: Gia Abernethy (SA), Kristina Brice (NSW), Kaitlyn Bryce (NSW), Mahalia Cassidy (Queensland), Taylah Davies (NSW/NSW Swifts), Beryl Friday (Queensland/Queensland Firebirds), Hulita Haukinima (Queensland), Madeline Hay (NSW), Cody Lange (SA/Adelaide Thunderbirds) Chelsea Lemke (SA), Maggie Lind (Victoria), Sarah Klau (SA), Emily Mannix (Victoria/Melbourne Vixens), Kristiana Manu’a (NSW/WBOP Magic), Kaylia Stanton (WA/West Coast Fever), Alice Teague-Neeld (Victoria/Melbourne Vixens), Numi Tupaea (WA), Maddy Turner (SA), Georgie Virgo (SA), Chloe Watson (Victoria/Melbourne Vixens), Liz Watson (Victoria/Melbourne Vixens), Jo Weston (Victoria/Melbourne Vixens).