‘The future is bright’ claim both Gibraltar Netball U16 coaches (watch special feature interview)
The Gibraltar Netball U16 & Performance Academy squad prepared today for their match against Tameside (England) on Sunday. The two will be competing for the first ever Eng Sport UK under 16 Super Cup. Tameside arrive in Gibraltar as the national champions in England, among their prize a chance to play in the Super Cup Final against Gibraltar.
The initial squad for Gibraltar had initially been aimed at being the Under 17 squad competing next month in the Under U17 Netball Europe Open Challenge. However, some eligibility concerns have led the coaches to incorporate a number of Performance Academy players into the squad, something which they are confident will only push the players further. It also provided Gibraltar netball to prepare an extended number of players during the coming months, effectively having two squads training for international commitments at the same time, some of the players overlapping between the two. Whilst others were already knocking on the selector’s doors as they challenged for a spot in both squads.
With Gibraltar’s U17 squad already much an Under 16 squad which should allow for a two year development of the squad the coaches Joelle Moreno and Claire Nunez we’re confident about their squads ability and preparedness to compete at this level. Both considering this Sunday’s match as a great chance to challenge the players as they prepare for Netball Europe competition next month.
The team were being put through their paces once again at Westside schools sports hall on Monday evening. With Gibraltar netball now implementing a performance development strategy across the age groups this was not a minor practice session. Instead the young players were being put through their paces by a trained qualified personal trainer, brought in specifically to assist the coaches. themselves experienced senior national squad players who had already played and coached teams to success.
Speaking to the Gibraltar Chronicle (you can listen to the full interview on our special feature video) both Joelle Moreno and Claire Nunez believed that the sport had a “bright future ahead.” The level of development and training for the younger generations was providing a platform for the future which they admitted they had themselves not seen during their early years in the sport. The level of commitment and development being seen already providing evidence that future senior squads will see a crop of young players bidding for positions in the not too distant future.
The squad itself provided evidence of what netball hopes to see in the future with players as young as thirteen years of age training among the squad from which the final selection is to be made for Sunday. Such was the competitiveness among players that the coaches highlighted how only last week the main Under 17 squad found themselves trailing during a practice match to the Performance Academy. The wake up call sounded by their coaches pushing them main squad to up their game further to eventually win. This, was seen as a good sign for the future, with players realizing that their positions were not safeguarded through initial inclusion and providing a greater competitive level of the game at a younger age, which is hoped will filter through into senior level in the future.
Watch our special feature interview with both Joelle Moreno and Claire Nunez (to watch click here).