Netball South has named an 23-strong training squad to prepare for the 2019 Beko Netball League.
The players were selected following trials at weekend and will now focus on off-season strength and conditioning before being invited to participate in a second trial at the end of January.
A final team of 16 will then be chosen to contest the national league against teams from other Zones.
Netball South Performance Manager Lauren Piebenga was impressed at trials with 77 players from throughout the region and wider New Zealand challenging for a place in the squad.
“It was good off-season quality with plenty of potential to lift following a solid pre-season,” she said.
“As selectors our focus was on court play and how well players executed basic skills and formed connections out there on court.”
Waikato’s Hannah Riddle-Pelchen joins Central’s Grace Heardman and Bridie Burns as players from outside the southern region to earn selection.
“We’ve always been really fortunate to have excellent tertiary education facilities here in the south which do play a key role in attracting players from other areas. It’s a real asset,” Piebenga said.
“We also had players extend their trip to venture south following the New Zealand Secondary School Championships staged in Timaru last week. It’s fantastic to see players exploring all avenues when it comes to progressing their netball careers.”
The trials also presented an opportunity for the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel franchise to assess potential training partners for the 2019 ANZ Premiership season. Head coach Reinga Bloxham is expected to finalise her selections later this month in preparation for the Steel preseason starting on November 19.
“Absolutely there are players in this squad who are knocking on the Steel’s door and it will be great to see them progress into the Steel environment and thrive,” Piebenga said.
The Netball South training squad comprise:
- Georgia Heffernan
- Holly Munro
- Kiana Pelasio
- Hannah Riddle-Pelchen
- Megan Borst
- Bridie Burns
- Sarah Boomer
- Katherine Morris
- Jess Allan
- Laura Moffatt
- Meg Sycamore
- Zoey Flockton
- Kate Hartley
- Sophie Erwood
- Lauren Pickett
- Julia Law
- Grace Heardman
- Taneisha Fifita
- Tarryn Dickson
- Laura Overton
- Georgia Cassidy
- Alana Vison
- Lisa Lin.