SPORTS

40 Players Attend Pearls Trials

  The Fijian Pearls side will need to play more international Test matches if they are to improve their world rankings, says Fiji Netball vice-president Vivian Koster. The Pearls are
27 Jan 2019 10:00
40 Players Attend Pearls Trials
Netters during the Fijian Pearls trials at the FMF Gymnasium, Suva on January 26, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

 

The Fijian Pearls side will need to play more international Test matches if they are to improve their world rankings, says Fiji Netball vice-president Vivian Koster.

The Pearls are currently ranked 14th by the International Netball Federation.

The Fiji Netball Association conducted the Pearls first trial at the FMF Gymnasium in Suva yesterday to select the extended training squad for the Netball World Cup.

The 2019 Netball World Cup is scheduled to take place from July 12-22 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England.

Speaking to SUNsports during the trials, Koster said it would be a very crucial year for the Fijian Pearls as they would be gearing up for the world meet.

“This is a very important year for us as we will be preparing for the 2019 World Cup,” Koster said

“So our first trial today is basically about developing the women and getting an extended quad selected for the World Cup.

“And roughly we’re looking at getting 20 to 25 players for our extended squad.

“We’re pleased to have had about 40 players here today for the trials while we’ve a few others couldn’t make it due to some personal commitments but have expressed their interest to join the trials.”

 

NO PACIFIC GAMES

Koster also confirmed that the Fijian Pearls won’t be competing at this year’s Pacific Games as the dates coincide with the World Cup.

“So part of our preparations is to get our players compete in more test matches to get more experience.

“We’ve two test matches lined-up as preparations for the side. The first one is in Singapore in April followed by the Oceania series championship in New Zealand later in June.

“And we’re positive that the players’ will get the exposure from these two matches.”

Singapore are currently ranked at 25th in the world.

Koster said the main reason why the Pearls have fallen in their world rankings is because other countries are playing more Tests matches against top teams.

“So that’s how their world rankings have increased. So we need to play more international test matches in order to lift our  standings.

“So we’re looking at improving our rankings this year. And we’re also pleased to know that the Vodafone Arena will be opened in May which will allow us to start planning for Test matches here in Suva,” Koster said

She highlighted that they are excited about the calibre of players and are looking forward to have the overseas based- players coming in to attend the trial sessions as well.

 

WORLD CUP POOLS

The Pearls are in Pool C with Jamaica the top seed followed by South Africa and Trindad and Tobago.

In Pool A are Australia, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, New Zealand top Pool B with Malawi, Barbados, Singapore.

Hosts England  are in Pool D with Uganda, Scotland and Samoa

 

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj



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