Blues withdraw from Australian Netball League

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This season’s Australian Netball League is down to eight teams following the withdrawal of the Netball NSW Blues from the competition.

Netball NSW CEO Carolyn Campbell said the decision to withdraw its second team was done to ensure the state’s existing High Performance Programs are in line with Netball Australia’s recent Competition Pathway Review.

“Netball NSW is constantly reviewing and evolving its High Performance Pathways to ensure it supports the organisation’s acclaimed vision of producing athletes, coaches and umpires to excel on both the domestic and international stage,” Campbell said.

“Taking onboard Netball Australia’s recent Competition Pathway Review, coupled with the fact that this year’s competitions calendar has been condensed into seven months due to the Netball World Cup, we felt it was in the best interests of all parties to withdraw the Blues from this year’s ANL.”

The Blues have been part of the ANL since the competition’s inaugural season in 2008. Their exit comes on top of the decision by Netball Victoria to withdraw its second team, the Victorian Flames, late last year.

That leaves every state and territory with one team in the ANL this season.

Netball Australia’s Head of High Performance Andrew Collins said the draw would be revised and finalised over the next few weeks.

“Netball NSW have an established and effective athlete pathway and we are confident that sufficient opportunities still exist within New South Wales for talented athletes to be identified and developed through underage national netball championships, the ANL and state league competitions,” Collins said.