With six Kia Magic players spearheading the line-up, Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty Zone has assembled a strong squad to defend their national under-23 title in Dunedin in July.
After two recent trials, 15 players have been named in the Wintec Waikato Bay of Plenty under-23 squad which will be cut to 12 ahead of the national tournament.
The staging of the first national under-23 tournament last year proved an instant success with Coach Mary-Jane Araroa leading Wintec Waikato Bay of Plenty to the inaugural title. The popular and successful Araroa will coach the team again this year.
The decision to resort to an under-23 grade by Netball New Zealand was an attempt to capture and cover a gap that had been identified between under-21 and ANZ Championship level.
By increasing that age group of competition at a national level, their involvement was harnessed more effectively while also providing a higher standard of competition than the previous under-21 event.
It also proved beneficial to a number of young players sitting in ANZ Championship teams who were not getting much court time, allowing them to come back into the under-23 competition and actually get a lot more playing time.
The new competition certainly showed its value with four of last year’s Wintec Waikato Bay of Plenty team going on to secure contracts with Kia Magic for 2014.
``We were delighted with last year’s outcome and the standards set by the under-23 team and their coach Mary-Jane,’’ Waikato Bay of Plenty Zone CEO Tim Hamilton says.
The netballers came up against the specialist skills of Wintec’s Sport Scientist, Dr Peter Maulder and High Performance Sport New Zealand sport scientist, Sam Chambers during trials. The pair facilitated fitness assessments and athletic aptitudes which helped with selection of the squad.
“It was a great opportunity to represent Wintec’s expertise in sport science in assessing athletes of this calibre,’’ says Dr Maulder.
``The athletic aptitudes identified should put the squad in good stead for a successful national competition campaign in 2014.”
Hamilton says, “it was fantastic to have Maulder and Chambers’ specialist support during trials, as well as the continued support from Wintec and our principal community netball partners.”
Elsa Brown: Trust Waikato Hamilton City Netball Centre
Ariana Cable-Dixon: Trust Waikato Hamilton City Netball Centre
Amy Christophers: Trust Waikato Hamilton City Netball Centre
Katherine Coffin: Kia Magic
Ngawai Eyles: Trust Waikato Hamilton City Netball Centre
Simmon Howe: Trust Waikato Hamilton City Netball Centre
Linda Kells: Trust Waikato Hamilton City Netball Centre
Brooke Leaver: Kia Magic
Tamsin Moala: Trust Waikato Hamilton City Netball Centre
Malia Paseka: Kia Magic
Jamie-Lee Price: Kia Magic
Samantha Sinclair: Kia Magic
Alix Stevens: Trust Waikato Hamilton City Netball Centre
Jo Trip: Kia Magic
Bryony Wilson: Trust Waikato Hamilton City Netball Centre
Mary-Jane Araroa - Head Coach
Rebecca Greenhalgh - Assistant Coach
Kim Ingham - Manager
Clarke McKenzie - Physiotherapist