IF there was any doubt surrounding the continued improvement of Orange’s remarkable run of 18-straight Central West State League titles, they’ll almost certainly be extinguished on Sunday.
On the way to solidifying its place at the top of the central west netball world, the Orange Netball Association will on Sunday trot out two under 17s sides in the 2014 Graincorp Central West State League competition’s re-vamped junior program.
With one eye firmly on blooding Orange’s next batch of state league guns, ONA representative coordinator Michelle Turner said the under 17s competition - a Netball NSW initiative in its inaugural year - is the perfect tool to keeping those in the orange bibs ahead of the game.
“It’s an exciting player development pathway for the girls,” Turner said.
“A lot of the girls played rep netball in the under 15s with Orange so they’ve already been exposed to that level, but this under 17s is a great bridging tool for moving into senior rep netball.”
The addition of the under 17s league means Orange will field four teams throughout all ages of this year’s state league carnival.
It’s the most of any association in the region.
On top of that, both Orange A and Orange B are expected to feature prominently come the finals of the tournament on August 31.
With Orange A gun Erin Johnstone set to coach the Orange White 17s line-up, Turner said it was fantastic members of the highly successful Orange open team would be imparting their knowledge on the next generation.
“It’s great they’re involved,” she said.
“The experience they’ve got is invaluable. And as the senior girls now get older and move on into umpiring or coaching, opportunities like this give them the chance to develop that aspect of their netball as well.
“They’re really mentoring this young group.”
Orange White and Orange Black will take on Cowra and Bathurst throughout the 2014 state league competition.
Tipped to be a big success, Turner was hopeful more associations will jump on board the under 17s experiment and field teams in 2015.
“We’re hoping the other associations look at the benefits of it and field sides next year,” she added.
The 2014 Graincorp Central West State League commences from 9am on Sunday morning at Anzac Park.
ORANGE WHITE: Neve Tufuga, Kyiesha Dixon, Brianne Wise, Cassie Naylor, Cindy Colley, Maddi Alerdice, Jocelyn Date, Sophie Hay Mckenzie, Sophia Cassimatis. Coach: Erin Johnstone.
ORANGE BLACK: Tara Nagle, Beth Curtin, Hollie Harris, Brooke Burcher, Emily Brisbane, Alice Litchfield, Chelsea Amone, Erin Turner, Olivia McClure, Helena Griffith. Coach: Natasha Rudd.