Netball | SPORTS

Overseas Netters Show Interest For Pearls

About six overseas- based netball players have shown interest to play for the Pearls in the Oceania World Cup qualifiers next month.
02 Jun 2022 16:00
Overseas Netters Show Interest For Pearls
Fiji men’s netball goalshooter Semesa Wainidroa (GS) defends against Singapore centre during their training match at the Vodafone Arena on May 31, 2022. Fiji men’s won 62-29. The men’s national team will be training match partners for the Fijian Pearls. Photo: Netball Fiji

About six overseas- based netball players have shown interest to play for the Pearls in the Oceania World Cup qualifiers next month.

The Fijian Pearls is expected to make a comeback to secure a spot in the Netball World Cup in South Africa next year.

The Oceania qualifiers will be hosted by Netball Fiji at the Voda­fone Arena on July 16 – 23.

And preparations are on track as training matches against the Sin­gapore national team started on Monday.

Despite the Pearls’ 50-47 win on Monday night, Pearls head coach Unaisi Rokoura was not pleased with the performance.

Rokoura fielded a 16 member squad where 13 would be selected for the qualifiers.

“It wasn’t a performance we wanted our squad members to dis­play but for the last two days we have really been working on the team.

“Our first game was close, but in a way we were going in as a train­ing match, and also we are using this opportunity for these three games to select our final squad for our qualifiers.”

The Pearls’ second game against Singapore took place last night af­ter this edition went to press while the third game will be played today.

Singapore was thrashed by the men’s national team 62-29, and Rokoura indicated they would have more training matches with the men’s side leading up to the World Cup qualifiers.

“We will finalise the team after the training matches which will include interests from outside Fiji.

“So far we have had interest from six players and it’s still open.

“It’s been a hectic week, players out of Fiji have shown interest and have made themselves available and we will work around the clock in making sure the players we get even here in Fiji are match ready come July 16.

“We will see around the clock and see if they are in a match con­dition ready for July,” she said.

Under -21 players Elina Drikibau and Reama Verekauta are also part of the Pearls-extended squad.

“That was the whole objective of selecting men’s team; men have been our regular training partners for the past few weeks, and now having to have a men’s national team is really a boost for us.

“They would become training match partners and we will be hav­ing regular training matches with them starting from next week.”

Meanwhile, five countries, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Island and Papua New Guinea have confirmed their participation in the Oceania Netball World Cup Qualifiers.

The World Cup will be held on July 28 to August 6 in Cape Town, South Africa, next year.


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