Young talent to gain international experience

089A4853Selection in this year’s Australian 19/U squad will carry an extra bonus for the chosen athletes with Netball Australia announcing an upcoming tour of New Zealand.

A squad of 22 will be announced following the 19/U National Netball Championships, being played in Sydney between April 14-19, and Netball Australia’s Pathway Manager Stacey West said they will compete in the Trans-Tasman Tournament at Rotorua between 26-28 May.

The squad will be split into two teams – Australia Green and Australia Gold – and play against the New Zealand Secondary Schools team and a Maori 19/U team.

The squad will also travel to Rotorua for a three-day training camp prior to taking on New Zealand’s best underage talent.

The squad will be picked by selectors Maria Lynch, Paula Stuart and Australian 21/U coach Tania Obst.

2014 17/U and 19U National ChampionshipsObst and former Australian captain and current Australian Diamonds assistant coach Michelle den Dekker will both lead the teams in the tournament.

West said this was the first time that Netball Australia had sent a 19/U team away on an international tour and it would be a great opportunity to expose this age group to different playing styles with an eye on the 2017 World Youth Championship in Botswana.

“For a lot of these athletes this tournament will be their first exposure to international competition and this is an important part of our athlete development pathway program,” West said.

“This trip will be beneficial as it will also expose these young women to some cultural experiences. The pre-training camp will focus on the development of individual and team-based skill with the addition of a concentrated match schedule.”

The 19/U National Championships will be played concurrently with the 17/U National Titles at Netball Central at Sydney Olympic Park.