Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up
12 MARCH 2010
With the Commonwealth Games in Delhi only seven months away, India’s netballers continued their preparations for the competition this week with a brief tour of Australia, during which time they visited the Australian Institute of Sport as well as the SOPA Cup in Sydney. Currently without a world ranking, the Indian side also played a friendly match against a parliamentary team, led by Australia’s minister for Sport, Kate Ellis, in which the visitors triumphed 45-3. Coach Lourdes Jayasekhra (pictured above with Norma Plummer) was encouraged by the improvements shown by her team during the tour, as a result of daily training sessions and match play, and will use the progress made as preparation for the forthcoming Asian Youth Netball Championships in July, where India aims to finish among the top teams.
Jamaica has named a 12 player squad to defend the island’s title at next month’s Jean Pierre Caribbean Youth Championships to be held in Barbados from 8-18 April. Despite missing giant shooter Marvadene Anderson, currently on a basketball scholarship in the USA, Jamaica will still be able to call on five players from last season’s championship winning squad – Dhanyel Johnson, Tristina Harwood, Vanessa Jones, Adean Thomas and Khadijah Williams. The newly selected players are Chrishena Copeland, Sade Ffrench (younger sister of former Sunshine Girl Nadine Ffrench), Kelleisha Freckleton, Azeza McCarthy, Trudianne Pennant, Chiquana Reid and Kaneila Riley and the squad will be coached by Joan Cargill.
In the Middle East, Abu Dhabi secured their position as the Gulf's premier netball team, by clinching the coveted Intergulf Championship Trophy from long term rivals Dubai A in a 14-10 cliffhanger finale win at The Sevens. The tournament marked an intensive weekend of netball attended by over 250 of the top players across the Gulf including teams from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.
Fiji’s selectors have named a 25 player training squad, which will be whittled down to 15 on 1 May, ahead of the Pacific Cup which will be held in the Cook Islands. Fiji will need to finish in the top two at that competition to qualify for the 2011 World Championships in Singapore. Following two days of intensive trials, Fiji’s coach Una Rokoura has introduced a thrice weekly training programme for the named squad in order to build fitness levels as well as teamwork.
With only two weeks to the start of the third season of the ANZ Championships, seven of the competition’s ten teams have taken the opportunity to hone and refine their line ups at the traditional pre-season SOPA Cup, held in Sydney. The Queensland Firebirds emerged from the weekend undefeated, with six wins from six, and while coach Rosalee Jencke is keen to play down any talk of tournament favourites, her side will clearly take a mental advantage into the first round of games, to be played on 20-21 March 2010.