The international men’s netball season was opened last week, as our youngest national athletes took to the court for their annual tour to the NZMMNA National Championships.
Tested against some of the best NZ age talent, the Aussie 17s won 4 out of 5 games, including a huge win in the showcase event vs a NZ Invitational Team on the final day of competition.
The live-streamed final game saw the Aussies amass 73 goals and a near 50-goal win, as current national Kelpies captain Dylan Nexhip declared his team officially had the teenage sensations nipping at their heels.
“To see some boys as young as 15 producing netball that could hold its own on an open age international court is a credit to the pathway we are building in Australia. It definitely won’t be long until some of these boys are in a Kelpies uniform which is what we love to see.” Nexhip said.
National Head Coach of Development-Elite Programs and the 17s coach on tour, Moira Gaha, said the national expansion of junior development is evident now more than ever.
“The geographic mix of this team shows the incredible work being done across the country by all our member states. We had all 6 states and one of the territories represented on court which made this team truly national. And the next group coming through has as good a spread across the country.” Gaha said.
The team comprised of talent from all corners of Australia, ranging from as far west as Karratha in regional WA, down south to Tasmania’s first elite program member in over 10 years and all the way up to North Queensland. Victoria continues to be the powerhouse for young male netball talent, with 6 athletes making up half the national team.
AMMNA International Director Clare McCabe highlighted the geographic pull from all regions into national teams as critical to the long term strategy for the male category.
“The rise in state talent pools across the country creates heightened competition for national selection spots. It pushes our emerging athletes to new levels to break into the team and retain their spot. This performance pressure is exactly where we want the program to be so Australia continues to set the high performance benchmark for the male category globally.” McCabe said.
Game 1 vs Christchurch | 44-26 Aus Win
Game 2 vs Tamaki Makaurau | 63-14 Aus Win
Game 3 vs Waitakere | 30-29 Waitakere Win
Game 4 vs Invercargill | 63-13 Aus Win
Exhibition vs NZ Invitational | 73-28 Aus Win
Toby Fountain | WA
Nicholas OMeara | VIC
Jack Jordan | TAS
Liam Platt | ACT
Will Whiteacre | VIC
Jordan Deutrom | SA
Noah Stephenson | NSW
Reikken Brodie | VIC
Kane Wilson | VIC
Daniel Statton | QLD
Joel Brown | VIC
Christian Doukas | VIC
Moira Gaha | NSW
Lorraine Ward | WA
Maureen Stephenson | NSW
Carina Floyd | NSW
Brent Ferguson | NSW