Manukura have attended the NZSS netball tournament every year since 2005 and last year finished fifth in one of the country’s toughest school national tournaments.
One of their players, Brody Manson, has just been selected in the NZSS team that plays England U19 in July in Auckland.
She is also one of six Manukura players named recently in the Aotearoa Māori Netball International Secondary School (AMNISS) team that hosts the International Schoolgirls Netball Challenge in Palmerston North at the end of this month.
We caught up with Brody as the 2019 season is just getting underway.
Congratulations on making these teams. What was your reaction to being selected?
Excited, grateful for the opportunity, super surprised - it was just out of nowhere really. Being that it is my last year of school I thought that the opportunities had come and gone for me.
What were your expectations at the start of the year, and what was the selection process for both these teams?
Honestly, I never really thought I was good enough to be selected but after making the squad of 22 for NZSS there was a chance of making the team. It was a surprise to be named in both teams and I’m excited.
NZSS Selection process: Regional Talent ID camp then move to Centre Talent ID camp at the end of last year. I was then shortlisted to attend the NZ Development camp and got called into the camp in early January. From there 22 squad players were named and the final selection was made last Wednesday.
AMNISS Selection process: Open trial process in February which gained selection into a squad of 15 players to compete at the Pacific Nations Cup Tournament in Auckland in March. From there you have to attend the National AMNOHL Tournament to be considered for the Team.
The netball season is just getting underway, so the mahi is just starting – what is your training and playing routine over the next few weeks?
I have two netball and basketball practices, four conditioning sessions, one Premier club netball and basketball game and one SS netball and basketball game a week. Playing netball for school is a priority but also making sure I am prepared for the AMNISS campaign.
How was the experience in training with the Central Beko team recently?
Being at the next level of high performance was great. I learnt that there is more off court things that need to be completed and it is a lot of self-managing that takes place.
What are your favoured positions - you are a centre or wing attack?
I like centre better but I can play both. Centre is more my type of style as I have more freedom and I’m not confined to one area of the court.
Tell us about your netball and background? You are from Northland?
I have been playing netball for 10 years now, I really only started playing because all my friends played and trained at lunchtime so I joined in. I come from a small town in the north, Dargaville where my family still lives. There was never really much competition or opportunities being in such a small town and I guess my family wanted more for me and they were my main driving force into moving away and excelling in all aspects of life really.
We decided I would move down after my first year of high school at 14 years old. I was fortunate enough to be coming down with family friends who I spent the first couple of years with which made the process a of moving away from home and my friends a lot easier but I was still anxious and scared to be in a different environment and out of my comfort zone. I am now in my fourth year of school at MANUKURA and couldn’t be happier with the sacrifices me and my family made at the start of this journey.
How long have you been a member of the Manukura Senior A team for?
This is my second year in the Senior Team. Last year we missed out on top 4 on count back so our goal was to finish 5th. We lost four players from last year so we still have a solid base to work off for this year.
Basketball is another one of your main sports – you also play for Manukura’s Senior A team?
I play for the Senior A Basketball team at MANUKURA. We competed in the Single A grade last year and were fortunate enough to take out the Championship. We are a group that have been together for a while now so we are looking forward to what this year will bring us.
Tell us about the support you have?
I have the most amazing support system behind me in everything I do no matter how far or near they may be. The amount of love, support, commitment and time my family invests in me is incredible and is what allows me to attend and be part of these teams, which I cannot be more grateful for. They are the backbone to my success and I wouldn't be in this position without them.
Thank you – and good luck for the season ahead!
View the NZSS team that plays England in July HERE
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