Australia’s most talented 17 and under and 19 and under netballers will converge on Adelaide’s Priceline Stadium in April for the 2018 National Netball Championships.
The Nationals see teams from each state and territory compete with the competition beginning on Tuesday 17 April and culminating with finals on Sunday 22 April.
Netball SA CEO Ben Scales said the Nationals showcase Australia’s best young netballers and it is a huge honour for the athletes to represent their state or territory.
“It is the first time since 2010 that the National Netball Championships have been played in Adelaide and I can’t wait to see the on-court action at Priceline Stadium,” he said.
“We look forward to working with Netball Australia to put on an event to remember for the players, coaches, support staff and spectators.”
South Australian 17U coach, Lee-Anne Cummins, said there has been much excitement in the team about the Nationals being played in Adelaide.
“While some girls have said they would love the opportunity to travel to another state to play, everyone agrees it’s going to be great to have so many friends and family in the stands cheering us on,” she said.
The 17U team are the defending champions, having won the championship in 2016 and 2017, and Lee-Ann said there is pressure leading into the Nationals as the team aims to ‘three-peat’.
“There’s pressure, but it’s good pressure,” she said.
Lee-Anne said it as a huge honour for the players to be selected in the state team.
“Their selection means they are the best 17U or 19U players in the state; just think how many netballers there are in the state who are their age.
“If they perform well at the Nationals it can be a springboard to many more things.
“Sasha Glasgow is the perfect example – she was part of the 17U and 19U South Australian state teams and has followed the high performance pathway to now play for the Adelaide Thunderbirds.”
South Australian 19U coach Kirsty Leonard-Down said the final 19U team list will be announced in early February, with the squad still training together.
“This will be the third time I have coached the team, and the group we have together this year is an exciting combination,” she said.
“We have a mix of players; some are dual 17U goal medallists, others have played in the 19U team before, and we also have three players in the squad who haven’t played for the state before.
“It’s really exciting watching the players move up the pathway, as well as seeing players who haven’t been part of the state environment pushing for selection.”
Netball Australia’s General Manager – Performance, Stacey West, said the National Netball Championship is a key event in the high performance pathway, with Australia’s up and coming netball talent experiencing their first full exposure to national competition and the opportunity to be assessed by national selectors.
“Since the first Nationals tournament was played in 1958, many players have gone on to compete on the international stage, with all members of the current Diamonds squad having represented their state at the event,” she said.
“It’s an honour for athletes to pull on their state dress, which is another step closer to the ultimate goal – the green and gold.”
To stay up-to-date on how the South Australian teams are tracking up until and during the Nationals, like Netball SA’s Facebook page.
We will provide further information on tickets for the Nationals once ticketing is finalised. Stay tuned!