Junior netters show promise

Normal, Sports

The National, Monday July 22nd, 2013


THE national Under-21 netball team continues to show positive signs as it prepares for the upcoming World Youth Netball Championships in Scotland.

The squad, which has been training for four months, had an intense training camp over the weekend.

The 15-member squad is on the verge of competing with the world’s new generation of netballers in the tournament from August 22-31.

Despite the search for taller players in the senior Pepes team, the U21s have a well balanced team with little worry in height and size.

Papua New Guinea Netball Fe­d­eration president Julienne Leka-Maliaki spoke well of the U21 squad, saying the team was looking in good shape.

“It is extremely exciting to watch this bunch of girls compete at such an international tournament,” Leka-Maliaki said.

“PNG Netball is confident in the team with the experience of players who have played in the senior national team, Pepes.”

Over the weekend, the U21 team went through their second phase of fitness testing, with the  results indicating a team that is looking fit.

Players who stood out in the trial match against the Pepes were Lae-based mid-courter Nerrie Adula, 14-year-old goalshooter Jephat Tulapi, mid-couters Villie Nopiri and Kimberly Alex, while goal defender Margaret Eka did well.

“The team has got good height in both our defending and shooting departments and the speed in the mid-court is a bonus,” Leka-Maliaki said.

The PNG U21s are pooled with Northern Ireland, Barbados, England and Jamaica and will be banking on experienced players in Nerrie Adula, Tau Galewa, Marypaul Buehler and Margaret Eka to lead the fight.

Following the trials against the Pacific MMI Pepes at the Sir John Guise Indoor Stadium, the final 12 member squad will be named either tomorrow or Wednesday.