The final part of the National Netball under 21 squad camp has switched into full gear with their first training session yesterday at the National University of Samoa’s Gymnasium.
Team members arrived late Thursday night making a total number of 15 eager netballers driven to represent their country.
Fitness testing and blow out was the focus of their first session at the National University of Samoa’s gym yesterday with Coach Lee Edwards keeping a close eye on potential national reps.
“We are here for the final under 21 netball Samoa camp; we will be naming the squad to play in the September world cup qualifiers in Auckland,” Ms. Edwards said during an interview with the Weekend Observer.
“We have a squad of 15 at the moment where we will select 12 to carry on to Auckland.
“We have about five locally based players and nine girls from overseas; five from New Zealand and four from Australia.”
The team’s ultimate goal is to make it through to the world champs and according to Ms. Edwards, everything is going to plan.
“Placing in the top three in the qualifiers will guarantee us a spot in the World Champs in Botswana which will take place in July next year,” she said.
“So far everything has been going good, I have been really impressed with the level of skill I’ve seen and the amount of work that has been done here in Samoa with the local players.
“This is probably the best level I have seen in a few years; the training the local girls have been undertaking in the past six months has really shown.
“There are no longer gaps between skill levels of overseas girls and local girls anymore and every camp they have been going to has improved their skills more and more.
“It’s exciting seeing all that is going on here in Samoa with their development programmes.”
According to Coach Edwards, it is never too late or too early to work towards a netball dream.
“For the girls who dream of a career in netball, just train really hard and you will get there,” she said.
“I know for a fact that there are some really good training programmes here in Samoa at the moment.
“Just join those and know that you are never too young to start, just keep building; anything is possible, stick to your training and be honest with it.”
The girls will be working with the Academy today at 9am, Gym 3 Tuanaimato; they will also have a game at 2pm.