AUSTRALIA TO BEGIN WYNC TITLE DEFENCE AGAINST ISRAEL

Australia will take on Israel for the first time when the two sides meet in the opening round of the World Youth Netball Championship in Glasgow.

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The defending champion Australia will begin their tournament against the unknown on Saturday morning (12.30am AEST) when Israel make their world championship debut at either an underage or senior level.

“Israel haven’t got a huge history as far as netball goes but you can’t take any game lightly at the World Youth Netball Championships,” Australian 21/U coach Carol Byers said.

“It will provide us with an opportunity to get out there, warming up well and putting all the tactics and strategies on court so we can be in a position to play good netball.”

Australia, contesting its 50th World Youth Netball Championship game against Israel, will wrap up its Pool A Preliminary Round with games against Namibia, Fiji and South Africa in the opening five days of the competition before finals.
Byers believes the teams varying styles of play in the preliminary round will be good preparation heading into the second half of the competition with the quarter-final, semi-final and grand final, should they qualify.

“I think we’ve got a fairly strong pool and the pleasing thing is we’ve got quite a good mix of styles,” Byers said.

“It will mean we really have to change what we do, the style that we play and adapt to every game which will stand us in good stead when we go towards the later end of the week.”

The Australians, who have spent the past couple of days preparing for the ten-day tournament at a sports village in Stirling, have never lost a game during the group stages since the tournament’s inception in 1988.

Their only losses, in 49 previous World Youth Netball Championship games, have come against New Zealand in the 1992 final and 2005 semi-final.

“I don’t think there are any easy games when you get to this level, it’s about making sure you’ve done all your preparation, scouting and plans, then it’s about preparing the athletes to the best they can be and performing on the day,” Byers said.

“It will certainly be a memorable week, we’re confident knowing that we’ve put in the hard work beforehand so we can be in control of our own destiny.”

The 2013 World Youth Netball Championships get underway with the opening ceremony at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, on Thursday (Friday 23, 3.30am AEST) before Australia begins its title defence the following day.

For more information, the draw and results from the 2013 World Youth Netball Championship, visit www.worldyouthnetball.com