The Netball Talent League has been created in association between England Netball’s nine regions and the eight franchises participating in the Netball Superleague, about to enter its third season, to create a competitive environment in which young netballers aged from 14-19 can experience high pressure games on a weekly basis throughout the year.
“The Netball Superleague has had a significant impact on the way that our leading senior athletes prepare themselves for competition, and has undoubtedly influenced the recent successes which the English national team has enjoyed on the world stage,” explains Nigel Holl, England Netball’s Performance Director, “thanks to the highly competitive matches and training situations to which they are exposed week in, week out. The new Netball Talent League is a great opportunity for the next generation of national netballing stars to gain exposure to the standards and skills required to succeed and can only boost the level of our national game still further in the years to come.”
The league, which is due to start at the end of October 2007, will feature ten regionally based teams of young netballing stars, In addition to teams linked to the existing eight Netball Superleague franchises, two further sides will be launched, based in the South region and the West Midlands. Each team will play nine matches during the season. And, as Holl explains, the league will also provide an excellent opportunity for the next generation of administrators and coaches to develop their skills:
“Netballers can only succeed on court if they are supported by skilled coaches, umpires, officials and team management staff. The new league will ensure that we can continue to develop our volunteer base and provide competitive opportunity for those looking to build a career in team management or officiating.”
The ten teams taking part in the initial one year league are (with their regions in brackets): Brunel Hurricanes Youth (London and the South East), Celtic Dragons Youth (Wales – invitational side), Leeds Met Carnegie (Yorkshire and Humberside), Loughborough Lightning Youth (East Midlands), Mavericks Youth (East), Northern Thunder Youth (North West), TeamBath Youth (South West), Team Northumbria Youth (North East), Team South (South), West Midlands Youth (West Midlands)
Holl is confident for the new Netball Talent League: “We are very lucky to have the support of the nine England Netball regions, as well as the existing Netball Superleague franchises in developing and launching this new competition. I am certain that it will provide the additional competitive framework for our promising youngsters which will enable them to shine, and to push ahead towards our stated objective of becoming the world’s number one international side by 2015.”
For further information about the new Netball Talent League, please visit www.englandnetball.co.uk.