The National, Friday 14th June 2013
FOUR members of the PNG Pepes team from the recent Pacific Netball Series in Samoa have been named in the national U21 side to the World Youth Championship in the United Kingdom in August.
Defenders Margaret Eka and Tau Galewa, mid-courter Nerrie Adula and shooter Marypaul Beulher, who featured in PNG’s second-place finish in Apia, are part of the 17-member squad named by the PNG Netball Federation.
Following the first selection trials held over the Queen’s birthday weekend, the final train-on-squad was announced yesterday after a five-month training programme involving 25 players.
The long weekend training camp was conducted by Sydney-based former Pepe Gima Rupa Crowdy, who is an Australian Level 2 accredited high performance coach.
PNG Netball president Julienne Leka-Maliaki said that in its continued attempts to improve its high performance programme and world ranking for its senior and U21 national teams, they have announced a strong 17-member train-on squad, which will be trimmed to a final 12, for the World Youth Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Riding of the success of the recent performance of the Pepes, PNG Netball is optimistic that this next generation of players will do well at the world champs,” Maliaki said.
“It is also encouraging to note that half of this squad comprises of a number of the current Pepes which will add value in game play and court experience,” she added.
Maliaki went on saying that PNG Netball has made this strategic decision to participate at this tournament which is in line with the Government’s objectives for the 2015 Pacific Games in which the sport has embarked on its talent identification and high performance programme.
A five-year development plan (up to 2017) is currently being finalised for the sustainability of netball’s high performance programme.
“The recent training camp has seen fitness levels improve dramatically for this group of young girls and we are excited about the player pathway programme that will be put in place for the development of our young athletes in the future,” Maliaki said.
The U21 squad: Shooters – Marypaul Beulher, Rayleen Andrew (POM), Courtney Abel (Alotau), Jepeth Tulapi (Lagatoi), Kapa Mailia, Paruru Vaieke (Motu-Koita West); defenders – Tau Galewa (Central), Margaret Eka, Vili Nopiri, Cathy Herea (POM), Aiva Suve (Kairuku-Hiri); Mid-court – Nerrie Adula (Lae), Kimberly Rawali, Shanna Dringo, Ceslie Rapilla (POM), Winifred Parker (Brisbane), Edea Gamu (Kairuku-Hiri).
The management team is Margaret Opina (coach), Oti Sarufa (assistant coach), Gima Rupa Crowdy (coaching mentor) and Kori Toua-Navuru (manager).
The training squad commences its next phase training programme tomorrow at the Rita Flynn courts at 7am.