Friday, 18 June 2010
NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD:
England’s international squad has arrived in Australia for a training tour ahead of selection for the Commonwealth Games. TeamBath squad member Lindsay Keable has been called up for her first tour at this level, which will see England play friendly matches against ANZ Championship sides,the NSW Swifts (pictured above with England players) and Adelaide Thunderbirds, as well as replicating the training and playing pressure conditions that the squad will face in Delhi later this year.
35 year old veteran defender Georgia Gordon has received a surprise call up to Jamaica’s pre-selection training programme, after impressing in Tivoli A’s title winning run in the JNA Berger Superleague competition earlier this month. Gordon, who represented her country at the World Championships in 1995, 1999 and 2003, returned to Jamaica in March after studying in New York for 11 years. She now joins the Sunshine Girls’ training squad ahead of selection for a three match test series against Australia and two against New Zealand in August.
South Africa’s Proteas are now en route to Samoa after a series of successful training matches in New Zealand. Despite losing to ANZ Championship side the LG Mystics 51-56, the South Africans defeated local sides Baytex Panthers 63-35 and Waitakere 70-42 and also benefitted from clinics conducted by former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering.
Jodi Carreira, the founder of Netball Israel, was honoured with an award for Outstanding Service to European Netball at the European Festival of Netball in Malta last week. Carreira, who was the driving force behind the establishment of competitive netball in the country, was overjoyed with her country’s performance in the competition, which saw them finish middle of the table against more established netballing nations. The semi finals of the inaugural Israel Netball League start next Tuesday with Ra’anana facing Modi’in and Ma’aleh Adumim playing Jerusalem. The league finals will be held on 21 June.
With one week of the regular season remaining, ahead of the play offs series, the NSW Swifts stand on the brink of making ANZ Championship history. With 12 consecutive victories already under their belts – a championship record – the Swifts face finals contenders, the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel on Monday night in Sydney with the chance to become the only team to negotiate the regular season undefeated should they win. But with the Steel one of three teams in contention for the two remaining play off spots, the result is not a foregone conclusion.
With the Adelaide Thunderbirds sitting in second place on the table and secure of a play off spot, the other two teams in contention are the Queensland Firebirds, who face the West Coast Fever and the Waikato/BOP Magic, who travel to face the Thunderbirds. And with the Firebirds’ superior goal difference, the stage is set for a tense weekend of netball and potentially some hard calculations before the finals’ line up for the 2010 competition is confirmed.