The South Australian 19U team has announced its leaders for the 2018 National Netball Championships with Maisie Nankivell named captain, and Chelsea Blackman vice-captain.
Maisie said she is thrilled to captain the team and feels she is in a good position to lead the team following captaincy roles in the past.
“Last year I was the vice-captain for the 19U team and in 2016 I was co-captain for the 17Us, so I think these experiences have shown me what is expected of a captain on and off the court,” she said.
“I think I’m a pretty easy-going person, which will help me keep the girls calm who haven’t played at Nationals before, but at the same time my work ethic and presence on the court – during games and at training – allows me to lift our intensity.
“I also really enjoy speaking to the team before games and motivating us before we step out on court.”
Maisie, who won gold in 2016 in 17Us, said this year’s 19U team features a very similar line-up to one that claimed the title two years ago.
“Many of us have won a gold medal at Nationals before so we know what it takes, but because we’ve had success in the past we’ve openly spoken at training that this means we can’t be complacent,” she said.
“It’s also a bonus that we have played together before, because as well as being teammates we’re also friends and this means we can have honest conversations with each other when we’re not performing at our best.”
Vice-captain Chelsea Blackman, who is a 2018 Adelaide Thunderbirds training partner, said the focus for the U19s in previous weeks has been match practice.
“We have played against the 17U state team, Matrics, Contax and Panthers and in each game we’ve made improvements and have been giving each other a lot of feedback,” she said.
Chelsea believes that being part of the Adelaide Thunderbirds environment has helped to strengthen her leadership skills.
“It’s been great to be with the Adelaide Thunderbirds, I train with them once a week on a Tuesday,” she said.
“I’ve seen how the leaders in the team take control of the playing group and make everyone really accountable at training.
“It makes you try your hardest and I’ve certainly learnt a lot, which I hope I can share with the state teammates.”
Away from the netball court Chelsea is studying Year 12.
“This is a full-on year, as I’m in year 12,” Chelsea said. “But I have a great bunch of people around me for support and I really do like to keep busy.
“I’m not too stressed at this stage.”
Next year Chelsea said she would like to study Sports Science at university. Maisie finished Year 12 in 2017 and this year deferred her university course – a Bachelor of Criminology, majoring in Forensic Science. She is also considering applying for the police force.
The 2018 National Netball Championships will be held at Adelaide’s Priceline Stadium from April 17-22. For the draw, click here.
To pre-purchase tickets to the National Netball Championships, click here.