Netball World Cup squad train in Sydney

Less than two months out from the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool (12-20 July), Samoa’s national netball squad travelled to Sydney over the weekend for their last training camp. 

With most of the squad currently playing in netball leagues in Australia and New Zealand, the training camp funded by the Australian Government was an invaluable opportunity for team, to put the final touches on their World Cup campaign. 

Netball Samoa C.E.O. Rosemarie Esera has been overwhelmed with the level of support from Netball Australia and the Australian Government. 

“The exposure of this campaign and assistance from Netball Australia and the Australian Government has seen increased participation across many of our development programs and pathways,” said Esera. 

Performance analyst Zoe Vicic from the Suncorp Super Netball team GIANTS Netball and Adelaide-based Physio Aaron Beck have been able to join the Netball Samoa team, through this additional support. 

Coach and former captain Francis Solia is grateful to have additional support as she prepares to lead her first team in the Netball World Cup in the coaching role. 

“This is the first training session together as a twelve, so we have to put four years of work into one training,” says Solia. 

“Looking at where we are now and where we’ve come from – we’ve just made some massive leaps and bounds.”

Netball Samoa also took the opportunity to announce Gerardine Solia-Gibb and Brooke Williams as co-captains of the World Cup team. 

Solia is confident the two players will take the honour of being named captains and represent the country to the best of their ability. 

“They’ve earned their stripes – both coming with World Cup or Commonwealth Games experience,” says Solia. 

After placing 10th in the 2015 World Cup, the co-captains will be looking to inspire their teammates with their own experiences to go after gold in 2019. 

Before heading to Liverpool, the Samoan team will take part in an exhibition match with the Samoa netball squad for the Pacific Games (netball competition 15-20 July) on Friday 28 June at the new Faleata Multi-Sport Complex, which will be the venue for the Games. 

Further to the dual campaigns, Suncorp Super Netball Games will be played in Samoa on a weekly basis as part of the partnership between Netball Australia and the Australian Government. 

Esera is thrilled to see the impact showing the elite games of netball to the aspiring netballers. 

“Children now have role models and a competition they can aspire to be a part of one day,” says Esera. 

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