Our Fijian Under-21 side are in for a tough battle tonight as they face Australia in the Digicel Punjas International Youth Netball Series at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.
This was after the Australians brought over a strong 14-member squad, where 10 players are part of the Suncorp Super Netball competition.
Coach Tania Obst yesterday praised her players on their ability to connect with each other on and off the court before they flew over.
“Fiji will offer more international match play experience as well as an opportunity for the girls to build on the on-court connections put into place in camp,” she told SUNsports yesterday.
“We had a little hiccup on our travel but that happens a lot and its good learning for the girls. We had to alter our plans and we had trained intensively in our preparation to play Fiji.
“We have been working a lot on our combination and the type of play that we want to put out there. We probably won’t be perfect obviously but we are looking forward to putting out the style in the way we want it to be done and to be consistent.”
She said their final team for the World Youth Netball Championship will be announced in April.
“That is after we take into account our performances in Fiji, as well at the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball and the Australian Netball League.
“We played against New Zealand last August but a lot of our girls haven’t seen the Fijian or the Samoan style of play.”
Obst said their youngest player is 18-year-old defender Matilda Garrett.
“Well a lot of the girls are part of the Suncorp Super Netball competition so they have been training intensely before Christmas and they all had a little break. We came back to camp in Sydney, had some match play and there is no excuses as we should be fit and now it’s about fine tuning our ball skills.”
The Australian U21 side is accompanied by national selector Jill McIntosh and Netball Australia’s National Pathway manager Stacey West.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
4pm: New Zealand v Samoa
6.40pm: Fiji v Australia
Edited by Leone Cabenatabua