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Here To Play, Learn: Valeni

The Samoa Under-21 netball team captain Ashley Valeni is honoured to lead her team in their opening match against New Zealand in the Digicel Punjas International Youth Netball Series on
09 Jan 2017 11:00
Here To Play, Learn: Valeni
Samoan Under 21 netball captain Ashley Valeni (left) with coach Lee Edwards at Suva Apartments yesterday. Photo: JUSTINE MANNAN

The Samoa Under-21 netball team captain Ashley Valeni is honoured to lead her team in their opening match against New Zealand in the Digicel Punjas International Youth Netball Series on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old who lives in Sydney, Australia, brings in a lot of experience as she is part of the Netball New South Wales Waratahs and plays for Sutherland Stingrays in the Premier League.

Valeni first joined the Samoan team in August last year and is excited to be in Fiji.

“It is really good coming to Fiji early to adjust to the weather and acclimatise because it is really hot,” Valeni said.

“Being captain is such an important role and I feel really honoured to lead the girls into this important tournament.

“I’ve been reminding the girls we’re here to play and also have fun. We don’t have to be caught up in everything we just got to have fun because this is a build up for us.

“I am not the only experienced player but me and the other girls have a role to play.

“It is a whole new experience for the new players as well, they haven’t experienced something like this before but we are welcoming them with open arms.

“We’ve all been there at one stage, so we are just helping them and just teaching them what has to be done and what needs to be done.”

Valeni said their game against New Zealand, Australia and Fiji will be a learning curve for them.

“Going up against all these teams, especially New Zealand will be a learning curve for everyone,” she said.

“We have not played a team like New Zealand before, we have only played Fiji and they have given us a very good run.

“So we can only imagine how tough New Zealand will be because they are on a completely different level. We just got to see how it goes and learn from the experience.

“We are all looking forward to the series and eager to get out on court.”

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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