The NZU21 team has gathered in Auckland for a pre-departure camp ahead of Netball World Youth Cup Gaborone 2017 (NWYC2017), July 8-16.
After hard-fought ANZ Premiership and Beko Netball League campaigns, the athletes and staff will be looking to put the finishing touches on their preparation.
NZU21 head coach Kiri Wills says the feeling within the group is positive.
“Everyone is getting excited; we’ve been working hard for a long time and can’t wait to get into it,” Wills said.
“We’ve got a three day camp in Auckland before we hop on a plane to South Africa where we’ll complete our preparation and freshen up for a few days before our first match in Gaborone.
“Our focus has, and always will be, on taking things one game at a time, putting together clinical performances against our opposition no matter who they are, and like Team NZ did – learn from each performance and keep building.”
The NZU21 team will enter NWYC2017 battle hardened after a number of the 12 took on key roles within their ANZ Premiership teams.
“I’ve been really impressed with how they’ve all stood up in critical moments in massive matches for their teams,” she said.
“Players like Tiana [Metuarau] for the Pulse and Monica [Falkner] for the Magic nailing some big shots, and our captain Michaela Sokolich-Beatson picking up crucial turnover ball for the Mystics.
“It has been great to see the New Zealand Netball public get behind them and support this next generation. These players are young, but they’ve done work; they are strong, hard athletes and we’re all looking forward to representing New Zealand in Gaborone.”
NWYC2017 will be played in Gaborone, Botswana from July 8-16. The NZU21s are defending world champions.
They have been drawn in Pool A against Sri Lanka, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Samoa, with their first match against Northern Ireland at 8am (local time), Saturday 8 July.
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson (C): GD/WD/GK
Charlotte Elley (VC): C/WD/WA
Aliyah Dunn: GS/GA
Abby Erwood: GK/GD
Monica Falkner: GA/GS
Fa’amu Ioane: WA/C/WD/GD
Kelly Jury: GK
Kate Lloyd: GK
Tiana Metuarau: GA/GS
Kimiora Poi: C/WA
Mila Reuelu-Buchanan: WA/C
Maia Wilson: GS
International Netball Federation Appointed Umpires/Officials – NZL
Fay Meiklejohn (Umpire Appointments Panel)
NZU21s NWYC2017 Match Schedule (all games shown in local time):
Note: Botswana is -10hours behind New Zealand
Day 1, Saturday 8 July: 8am, New Zealand v Northern Ireland
Day 2, Sunday 9 July: 2pm, Samoa v New Zealand
Day 3, Monday 10 July: 10am, Scotland v New Zealand
Day 4, Tuesday 11 July: REST DAY
Day 5, Wednesday 12 July: 9am, New Zealand v Sri Lanka
Days 6 – 9: Finals (Pools reconfigured)
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