Friday, 16 September 2011

Netball Around the World

New Zealand's selectors have named three new Silver Ferns in the squad to face Australia and England in the New World Netball Series at the start of October. 19 year old Kayla Cullen , 20 year old Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick and shooter Cathrine Latu are the new faces in the New Zealand line up, while Laura Langman was confirmed as captain for the five tests, while Casey Williams recovers from ankle surgery. Irene van Dyk, the world's most capped international netballer, will be New Zealand's vice captain for the series.

Picture shows the three new Silver Ferns caps named this week – left to right, Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick, Cathrine Latu and Kayla Cullen – at the announcement of the squad.

Jamaica captain Nadine Bryan is one of seven netballers to be awarded a scholarship to the University of the West Indies (UWI) this week. Together with the other scholarship recipients – Kera Christie, Samantha Francis, Gillene Graham, Shadian Hemmings, Shann Lambert, Connique Moore – Bryan will be expected to maintain high academic standards during her time at the university, but will be given unprecedented access to UWI's facilities and services for athletes including access to sports psychologists and nutritionists as well as housing and other advisory services. Meanwhile, future Jamaican internationals could be on show from this week, with the start of the ISSA/Digicel High School netball competition. Denbigh, the reigning senior champions, and Holmwood Technical, holders of the junior title, will face stiff competition from the 100 teams taking part in the championships, which is to be sponsored by Digicel for the fifth consecutive year.

Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) captain Janelle Barker was in sparkling shooting form this week, as she led the University of T&T to the T&T Netball Association Champion of Champions. Scoring 20/23 at GS, Barker inspired her side to a 48-31 victory over Tobago champions Blazers.

Still in the Caribbean, Guyana's netballers are undertaking a brief tour of Barbados this week. In addition to matches against leading club sides, Guyana will also face the Barbados U21 and senior teams in a series of games which, it is hoped, will challenge the visitors and assist them with future development plans.

In domestic competitions, the Australian Netball League (ANL) reaches its climax this weekend with the finals weekend being staged in Waverley, Victoria. The interstate competition is a development league for emerging players with each state fielding teams comprising players who, it is hoped, will ultimately play in the ANZ Championships, and possibly for Australia. Western Sting has qualified for the finals weekend for the first time, and will face Victoria Fury in the first semi-final. New South Wales Waratahs will meet Queensland Fusion in the other semi final.

Finally this week, on her return from England's Southern Hemisphere tour, England international Tamsin Greenway will take on a very different role, having been appointed as the first player/coach for Surrey Storm in the Fiat Netball Superleague. The position as player/coach is part of her new wider role as director of netball for the Surrey Sports Park, which will also include community netball programmes and expanding netball's reach across the London and South East region.

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