England's U17 squad for the 2012 Netball Europe championships will be without one of its star performers from the past couple of seasons, after it was announced that 16 year old Lottie Richardson has secured a contract to play in Australia in the New Year. Recommended by former England coach Sue Hawkins, Richardson has signed with current state champions Manly Warringah to play in their first team for the 2012 season and will be combining her netballing career with studying for her A levels, returning to her home in Truro, Cornwall several times each year.
In Richardson's absence, England's selectors have this week announced their U17, U19 and U21 squads to contest the 2012 Netball Europe championships. Sophia Candappa and Rachel Shaw, who debuted in the senior England squad during 2011, have been named in the U21 side which will travel to Northern Ireland with the U19 squad, while the U17 competition takes place in Scotland. The full squad lists are available at www.englandnetball.co.uk.
Another name familiar to England netball fans is also travelling to the Southern Hemisphere to take up a new role for 2012. Andrew Crook, until recently the general manager of the UK's Fiat Netball Superleague, has been appointed as general manager for the ANZ Championships and will take up his position in February. A former South Australian cricketer, Crook will be based at the ANZ Championships offices in Melbourne and Auckland.
The Zimbabwe Netball Association (ZNA) has invited four of its strongest club sides to take part in the Chama cha Revolution Netball Cup in Zanzibar from 6-12 January 2012. The sides, which finished in the top four positions in Zimbabwe's national league, have been invited to attend after funding to send the country's national team to the competition could not be allocated. Reigning national champions Railstars, runners up Nehanda Nyakasikana, Zimbawe Defence Forces and Tenax are expected to confirm their participation this week.
Jamaica's Manchester Netball Association (MNA) completed its first competition since being reorganised in May, by co-ordinating a rally for four local sides this week. Legendary, one of the oldest clubs in the region, emerged unbeaten throughout the day, and scooped the top prize of J$25,000 (approx $290US) as well as medals and playing equipment.
Fiji's selectors have invited almost 200 players to trials for the country's U21 squad, which will take place early in the New Year. As part of the selection process, the players will undergo rigorous fitness testing as the Fijian side looks towards the 2013 World Youth Championships.