Samoa qualifies for 2021 World Youth Netball Cup

Samoa has qualified for the Netball World Youth Cup scheduled for June 2021 in Fiji’s capital Suva.

In preparation for the Netball World Youth Cup, Netball Samoa’s preparations have begun in earnest with the C.E.O. Rosemarie Esera revealing they will hold their first-ever virtual trial. Normal trials are not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

She said there are three standards which need to be met by September 29 this year and the players have to meet: performance, technical and registration requirements. 

"There are only three questions and one of the questions is 'what strengths do you have that will contribute to the team?’” she said. 

"It’s just trying to get a sense of why they want to play for Samoa instead of the normal ‘I’d like to play for Samoa because it’s my country’.”

The rationale behind the standards required for the 29 September deadline is to allow players – irrespective of whether they are from Samoa, New Zealand or Australia – to have 10 to 12 weeks of court time with their respective players.

There are four performance tests that the players need to pass, if they don’t achieve those results then they will not progress to the next step of qualifications: Netball Samoa viewing their candidate video and reading their responses to the questions.

Players need to video themselves performing a fitness test, verified by their respective coaches and sent to Samoa. 

"Those videos will then be reviewed by our fitness trainers, and then if a certain girl passes then we’ll review her footage and responses to the questions," she said. 

"The outcome of what we’re hoping to do is that we get a long list of squad players hopefully about 30 girls in the first week of October, and then they will be put through a training program. If they’re not committed then they’ll self-eliminate themselves."

The technical footage is where the players would have to select one of the games that they think best displays their talent and the footage has to be a minimum of 60 minutes,” she said. 

"The rationale behind that is that if your coach can not put you up for a whole game, then why would Netball Samoa be looking at you?" 

Local players are also included in the virtual trials which should start this Thursday. 

Ms. Esera emphasised that there is a different standard for our local players and overseas players.

"When you’re at a national level you pick the best of any Samoans that are eligible," she said 

"So, therefore, everyone has got the same amount of time, and the video is not on the team, it will be videoing the player of how many times she drops the ball or if she's always stepping. So it really just focuses on one player as we would have done the same if it was the normal trials.

"We have a very successful under 21 campaign and this is the next best thing we can offer and connect our players given the COVID-19 pandemic."

Any player who is under 21 years of age as of December 31, 2020 and whose parents or grandparents were born in Samoa, or is a holder of a Samoan passport, is eligible to trial. 


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