Singapore, – Netball Singapore today announced the final 12 players who will represent the country at the 2010 NTUC FairPrice Foundation Nations Cup which begins on 6th December at Toa Payoh Sports Hall.
The six-day event will feature debuting teams from India, Namibia and Wales who will battle it out with Tanzania, 2009 runners-up Scotland and host Singapore in a round-robin format, followed by the finals on 12th December.
The selected team is a mix of experience and fresh blood with eight players from last year’s Nations Cup team, two returning players and two new players moving up the ranks to the senior team. Shooter Cassandra Soh and defender Nurul Baizura Binte Abdul Razak both hope to earn the chance to gain their first international cap, while team stalwart Jean Ng hopes to celebrate her 80th test cap during the tournament.
Cassandra and Baizura both played in the World Youth Netball Championships with the National 21 & Under team, and are joined by Charlene Porima who has rejoined the team for this year’s Nations Cup. With 28 international caps and the 2007 World Netball Championships (WNC) under her belt, it is hoped that Charlene’s presence will add experience to the midcourt area. Fellow Centre, Li Huilin has also secured a slot on this year’s panel and hopes to gain her 8th test cap.
Guiding the girls through their campaign is coach Kate Carpenter who has returned to the Singapore fold this year. Kate led the team from 2004 - 2007, coaching the team through a victorious Asian Championship campaign in 2005 and Nations Cup victory in 2006 and 2007. She also led Singapore through the 2007 World Netball Championships campaign.
With less than a month to go until the start of the Nations Cup, Kate is looking for a strong outing from the Singapore team. Kate said, “The team is coming together well with some significant improvements in form. The opportunities to compete against the Silver Ferns and Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) were valuable in establishing playing combinations. The hope is that we will continue match practice, and play quality netball throughout Nations Cup.”
Captaining the host team this year will be Lin Qing Yi, who has been part of the national side since 2004 and has competed in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the 2007 World Championships, two Asian Championships and three Nations Cups, earning 37 international caps to date.
Known as Micky to her teammates, the new captain said, “The team you are looking at for Nations Cup 2010 has probably the most skilful and experienced players, who are also in preparation for World Championship next year. It has been a great pleasure and honour to lead the team for the past few months and for the upcoming Nations Cup!”
This year’s Nations Cup is particularly significant as the national team hope to use it as a springboard for next year’s WNC which will be held in Singapore in July. Fellow WNC competitor, Wales, will also play in the Nations Cup for the first time which will give some insight to their team form ahead of the Championships.
Tan Wee Khim, President, Netball Singapore said: “We are pleased to announce the team for this year's Nations Cup. They have been selected from all eligible players and represent the best that we can field. The competition is going to be very keen as the other international teams are constantly improving. We are very mindful that in building and developing our team, there are other squad members who are just as important to us and they also deserve our recognition for the part they play. Their time will surely come.”
Tickets for the NTUC FairPrice Foundation Nations Cup are on sale now from Netball Singapore. Offering six days of non stop netballing action, fans can cheer the home team in their bid to reclaim the Cup and catch the hotly anticipated Singapore –Wales WNC precursor on Saturday 10th December at 8.00pm.
photos Janos Schmidt