Hear from the U19 State Team Co-Captains

Chelsea Blackman and Tyler Orr


Chelsea Blackman and Tyler Orr have been named Co-Captains for the 2019 19U State Team.

With the National Netball Championships beginning in two weeks time, both Blackman and Orr are excited to lead their teammates and work together as Co-Captains, a task made easier as they have played alongside one another for five years in state teams.

Blackman, an Adelaide Thunderbirds Training Partner, said she has learnt many leadership qualities from being part of the elite netball program.

“I like to lead with my actions on the court, that’s where you will see me step up and be a leader, especially in the defensive end,” she said.

“I have played with everyone in the 19U team before and have built my confidence over the years I’ve been in state teams. Now it’s my last year I wanted to put my hand up as captain.

“I think it will be very exciting to captain a team with Tyler. I’m sure we will do a really good job together.”

Like Blackman, this will be Orr’s last year in the state program.

“Chelsea and I have different qualities that complement each other. I think having co-captains is also good as it takes the pressure off one person, which is good at Nationals because sometimes it can be overwhelming,” she said.

Speaking about her personal leadership qualities, Orr said “I get along with everyone, whether they’re quiet or loud, and I am able to relate to all of the girls.”

Orr said travelling to Brisbane for Nationals adds another level of excitement.

“Being in Brisbane and going away, makes it a different culture and more exciting.”

She also paid tribute to her parents and her teammate’s parents who will be making the trip to Brisbane to support the team.

“Our parents add a massive element to how fun the competition is,” she said.

U19 State Team Head Coach Kirsty Leonard-Down agreed Orr and Blackman have different leadership qualities that complement one another.

“Chelsea is a bit quieter in her approach at times, but she says what she needs to when she needs to,” she said.

“The great quality that Chelsea brings is that she has been working in that next environment, so she has an expectation of the players. While she hasn’t been training on court due to her commitment with the Adelaide Thunderbirds, she’s been at the trainings and giving the team really good feedback. The team values where Chelsea is and that she has moved to the next level.

“Tyler is really good at being inclusive, bringing the group together and creating a good morale. She is a strong, hard-working player, and as Chelsea hasn’t been able to attend all trainings it’s good to have another person who is working so hard and always setting a standard for everyone else.”

Leonard-Down said that over the past few weeks of training the team has started to come together really well.

“Every team that goes to the Championships has their sights set on that final four and going for the gold. The girls who came up to U19 last year, know it’s a big step up from U17s. We know it’s going to be a challenge, but we’ve got gold as our goal.”

The process to select co-captains saw players nominate themselves, present to their teammates and a player vote, followed by an interview the coaching and support staff.

The National Netball Championships begin on Thursday 11 April, with the finals being played on Tuesday 16 April.