Nations best under 20 and 17s athletes gather in Sydney's Northern Beaches for high performance (HP) camp.
The countries best male youth players were put to the test this month, as talent identified athletes from the 2023 National Champs fronted AMMNA development elite Head Coach Moira Gaha and her staff in Sydney. Over 30 athletes and officials attended the 3 day camp, with each attendee screened across 12 key capality areas aligned to the the national HP framework.
Gaha declared the camp a success, after her second year at the helm of the countries top youth athlete program for male netballers.
"This year we had found it increasingly difficult to shortlist our best 30 athletes across the country, as the talent pool just gets deeper and better each year as the male category grows. We knew we had world class athletes in the making here, and the performances these boys turned out raised the bar yet again." Gaha said.
The camp doubled as a selection process for the 17s Australian Team, who will tour to New Zealand later this year to be tested on the international stage. The team will be named on AMMNA social media in coming weeks, as Gaha and her staff crunch the numbers and review the footage.
"We gather data on all runway talent not
just to pick current program teams, but to build long term profiles to use in future selections activities as they rise through the ranks. What we output is a benchmark to develop from, so our best young athletes know what it takes to reach the top of their sport." Gaha added.
When asked about the data, Gaha highlighted the area this group are outperforming many of the benchmarks on - that being athlete skilling. This is an area that youth male netball players have not always excelled at, given historically many boys cross over from other sports in their mid-teens and develop far later than females in the pathway.
"What's clear is more teenage boys are coming through as organic netballers, with netball specific skills to an advanced level. This generation of athlete has had the opportunity to play from a young age, and this access to play is really reaping the rewards when they enter the upper pathway." Gaha said.
But it wasn't all green on the score-card, as Gaha and her team set the challenge to their squads to up their game in two other areas of high performance.
"The data we've collected on athletes tells us we need better strength and conditioning standards across the group, and to create more clarity on what HP behaviours look like in our training and playing environment. The standard is on the rise, but we want to give these athletes the best chance at making the Aussie open age team in their late teens and early 20s. It's that level of domestic competition for positions that will push our national team to greater heights." Gaha said.
This group are likely to be front and centre in netballs bid to be on Olympic debut in Brisbane 2032, a goal that Gaha believes her players are ready and raring for. Fans wanting to get their eyes on our next group of national netballing stars can follow AMMNA on instagram for national team selection and livestream details of the NZ tour for our 17s group.