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Netball - 17. May 2011.

Future of Australian netball selected to take on Samoa

The future of Australian netball will get their first taste of
international competition with a 19/U team selected to take on the
Samoan national team ahead of the 2011 World Netball Championships.

The 12 player team will take on Samoa in their preparations for the
world championships and the NSW Institute of Sport in Canberra in June.

"For most of these girls it will be their first opportunity to play
international netball so to put our junior athletes in an international
style will only benefit the 21s program and the Diamonds in the years to
come," head coach Stacey West said.

"The more we can expose our athletes to different styles of play, the
better they will be equipped to progress up the netball ladder."

The emerging talents, featuring representatives from six of the eight
states and territories, caused a selection headache of a good kind for
West and her selection panel at a training camp over the weekend at the
Australian Institute of Sport.

"The depth was far greater this year in comparison to the last two years
so selection was much more complicated, which is a good problem to
have," West said.

"It's a good indication of netball and the depth we've currently got in
this age group.

"We've had a very good showing of talented, well skilled and a variety
of mid-court players which is very exciting for everyone involved.

"To have that many representatives from around the country not only
shows the strength of our programs but also indicates that we're doing
the right thing at state level and that the programs being delivered are
producing good athletes."

With the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships approaching, West is
working closely with Australian 21/U head coach Carol Byers to ensure
the squad is best prepared for the title defence.

"That was the major focus of this year's program, making sure that we're
closely aligned with 21/U program and having Carol's input into the
selection was critical," West said.

"Together we'll work very hard to make sure these athletes come through
at a level she needs them in two years time."

The netball series featuring the Australian 19/U, Samoa and NSWIS will
be held from Wednesday 22 June to Sunday 26 June in Canberra.

Australian 19/U Squad:

Kelsey Browne (VIC)

Courtney Bruce (WA)

Laura Clemesha (QLD)

Paige Hadley (NSW)

Jessica Johannsen (SA/NT)

Alix McDermott (NSW)

Laura Marslen (SA)

Brooke Miller (NSW)

Kimberley Ravaillion (NSW)

Amehlia Schmidt (SA)

Gabi Simpson (NSW)

Amy Sommerville (NSW)

Stacey West - Coach

Cathy Fellows - Assistant Coach

Donna Harrison - Team Manager

Paula Peralta - Physiotherapist
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