By HUXLEY LOVAI
THE national Under-21 netball team willould benefit greatly from the experience of captain Courtney Abel, her deputy Japerth Tulapi and Serena Ovia, all of who have played for the Pepes.
According to Pepes head coach Unaisi Rokoura, who is assisting with the U21 team’s preparations, all three players are assets to the squad.
“They bring a lot of experience, at that young age, being exposed to netball at the international level; it’s an asset that the U21 team really needs,” Rokoura said.
“They have been amazing at training, bringing with them the understanding and knowledge they have learned from the senior team. It has raised the standard of the squad and it’s good to see the other girls stepping up to their level.”
Following the series win over the Singapore U21s in July, Rokoura and PNG U21 coach Renagi Mulina identified areas of the game that the side needed to work on — areas such as defence and maintaining their intensity throughout the duration of the match.
Both aspects of their game were tested during the three-game series against Singapore.
The side had a tendency to start well but struggle to maintain the intensity, allowing their opponents to get back into the game.
The trimming down of the team to the final 12 allowed Mulina and Rokoura to focus on specific areas for the team to work on.
The U21s will take part at the Oceania Regional World Youth Cup Qualifying tournament scheduled for the Sept 26-29 in Auckland, New Zealand. The World Youth Cup will be hosted by Botswana next year.
By HUXLEY LOVAI