Bumper numbers at Netball trials leads to increased squad size

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Netball president Sara Sefton looks at the fierce competition at the Saints Netball trials and looks forward to a promising year for the club
Saints Netball Trials were held over two days last week to boost membership for the coming year.

There was a huge turnout of girls on the first afternoon so we knew we were in for a tough time when it finally came round to making our selections. According to our club constitution, the selection process is overseen by the Club president, myself, the vice president, Elin Jones, alongside the first team and second team captains, Ashley McIntyre and Jess Broomhall. A third team captain is then chosen from those selected.

This year however, we were also helped for the first time, by our new coach, Anna Blanch, who helped run the trials as well as pick our final training squad for the year.

Having been on the selection committee for three years now I can safely say that this year was the toughest yet in terms of selecting a final squad. We had very few people graduate last year, so competition was tough, with all of last years squad having to fight for their places again against some very competent freshers.

As a result we actually increased the squad size by a couple because we could just not cut it down.

We were very impressed by the new players who came along, and after a successful Wednesday afternoon of drills and matches, the selectors went and sat in Pizza Express for almost 4 hours trying to create combinations and provisional teams we wanted to see play together the next evening.

Thursday evening came and went all too quickly leaving us with just one hour before our announcement meeting to agree on a final squad.

A few heated debates later, we had agreed and made our way to the Lizard to greet everyone waiting to hear the news. It resembled a scene from X factor with everyone looking extremely nervous and waiting for ‘Simon Cowell’ to speak. However, the encounter was made slightly more bearable with the addition of a free glass of champagne for everyone.

Sadly we couldn’t take everyone this year, and seeing disappointed faces is the worst part of our job as selectors – but I do want to encourage those who did not quite make it to come along to social netball on a Sunday evening as we have been known to move players into the squad from there because people do improve throughout the season.

I just want to say congratulations to all those girls selected for the squad this season, we look forward to training with you and hope you will get involved in the club as much as possible this year.

We are very excited for this season after the successes of the last – with the firsts promotion, all teams progressing well in the cup, securing a coach for the first time and being awarded focus club status from the AU. We are hoping this will help us to improve even further this year and seeing the new talent has increased this expectation!

If you want to see the Netball club in action for yourselves, there is a triple header, with all 3 teams playing at home on Saturday 16th October beginning with the first team at 11am.

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