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Fiji Sun


Aotearoa Here For Players Development

Aotearoa Here For Players Development
Fijiana Fanz Jasmine Smith makes quick pass to Maya Smith against Indigenous Australia (Budgies) during Digicel Punjas International Secondary School netball challenge at Vodafone Arena on May 16, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
May 17
11:00 2017

The Aotearoa Maori team will take advantage of the opportunity of playing against international teams to build-up their players.

This is despite winning their opening match 44-27 against the Fijian Under-19 side at the Vodafone Arena in Suva yesterday.

As the Digicel Punjas International Secondary Schools Netball Challenge got underway Aotearoa Maori coach Rebecca Gabel said the girls can only grow as a player if they participate in such international competition.

“I think it is awesome going up against teams from South Africa, Australia and Fiji,” she said.

“It is a huge opportunity and they just need to make the most out of it because they don’t get that international exposure very often. For some of them it is their first time playing against international teams and they can only grow from that and playing in a really tough competition.

We have had a pretty short but intense build-up, we are excited to be here and really enjoying the weather, it is a lot hotter than it is in New Zealand.

“We got a mix of girls both young and experienced, we want to just build on each game, they have not had a lot of time together so the time together on court is really valuable which helps us build up combinations.

“Time has been our biggest challenge because we select our team at the Easter tournaments which only happens in mid April.

“The time we have had together I would have loved it to be longer and to be able to give the girls more time together but it is what it is.

“They have come together really well and they are a great bunch of girls so we are just looking forward to what we can do out on court.”

Other results: Budgies 37-41 Fijiana FANZ and SS Australia 61-11 FSS, Aotearoa Maori 45-26 Auckland Tonga.

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