The Australian 21/U netball team was announced yesterday at the AIS with the team of emerging athletes set to tour the NZ in June to compete in a three Test series against their New Zealand 21/U counterparts.
Coach Carol Byers said she was satisfied that the team was a good mix of youth and experience, including three young players who will still be eligible to compete in the 2013 World Youth Cup in Glasgow; Madeleine Proud, Kate Shimmin and Micaela Wilson.
Of the 12 athletes named, Victoria’s Shannon Eagland is the only one who was part of Australia’s winning 2009 World Youth Cup team, which claimed the title in the Cook Islands.
Eight athletes of the athletes named yesterday have progressed from their inclusion last year in Australia’s first ever 19/U team which played a series of friendly matches against the New Zealand 21/U and England 19/U teams.
Byers said the team featured a notable defensive end, with four athletes called up to ANZ Championship teams during the 2011 season: Chanel Gomes (Fever), April Letton (Firebirds), Kate Shimmin (Thunderbirds) and Micaela Wilson (Vixens).
“We have a strong defensive unit that will stand us in good stead as we look to shut down New Zealand’s attacking play.
“The upcoming tour will give these athletes invaluable experience and exposure to the New Zealand style of play.”
Carol Byers was enlisted to deliver Australia back-to-back World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow with the high performance coach appointed 21/U Australian coach in September 2010.
After claiming her third consecutive New Idea Australian Netball League title with Victorian Fury, Melbourne Vixens assistant coach Byers will lead Australia’s top underage team for the next four years, building to the World Youth Netball Championships in Scotland in three years time.
Selectors of the 21/U team are national coach Norma Plummer, 21/U coach Carol Byers and independent, Cathy Fellows.
Australian 21/U team
Shannon Eagland, VIC
Sarah East, WA / AIS
Chanel Gomes, QLD / AIS
Nicola Gray, NSW / AIS
April Letton, NSW
Stephanie Puopolo, VIC
Madeleine Proud, SA
Kate Shimmin, SA
Verity Simmons, NSW / AIS
Ameliaranne Wells, QLD
Micaela Wilson, VIC
Stephanie Wood, QLD / AIS.
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