The Australian 21/U coach Carol Byers had one eye on the future when selecting a young team to compete against the world champion Australian Diamonds, New Zealand Silver Ferns, South Africa and Malawi in Perth next month.
With the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships on the horizon, Byers has selected a 21/U team with an average age of just over 18 years old.
“This series will provide a starting point in our preparation for the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships, it’s our goal to expose our athletes to international netball who are still eligible for the tournament in two years time,” Byers said.
The 21/U team will compete against the world’s top two teams along with World Netball Championship quarter-finalists South Africa and Malawi in practice matches ahead of the Holden Netball Test Series fixture at the Burswood Dome on Sunday 23 October.
“We’re exposing the world youth cup athletes to the different styles of play that the African teams offer,” Byers said.
“It’s a great opportunity for these young athletes that haven’t had any exposure to South Africa or Malawi, let alone the chance to play against the world champion Diamonds and the Silver Ferns.”
The 21/U team will contest the four practice matches during the week leading up to Sunday 23 October. The Australia 21/U squad for the 2013 World Youth Cup will be selected next year following the 21/U National Championships.
Australian 21/U Team:
Kelsey Browne (VIC), Courtney Bruce (WA), Kristina Brice (NSW), Paige Hadley (NSW), Cody Lange (SA), Laura Marslen (SA), Samantha Poolman (NSW), Kimberley Ravaillion (NSW), Keely Rodrigo (ACT), Amehlia Schmidt (SA), Kate Shimmin (SA), Gabi Simpson (NSW), Amy Sommerville (NSW)
* Maddy Proud (SA) and Micaela Wilson (VIC) were both unavailable for selection.