Men’s and mixed netball is gaining plenty of momentum and Orange product Adam Slattery is hoping his NSW side’s visit to the colour city next week will help its development, along with shining a light on the pathway to the top.
In a similar move to the Swifts’ regional tour last month, the NSW men’s side is landing in Orange as part of its lead-up to the 2018 Australian Men’s Championship, where it will try to defend this year’s title.
While the trip, as the Swifts’ did, will act largely as a bonding exercise for the group Slattery explained there will also be a heavy focus on promoting the men’s and mixed versions of the sport, along with development across the board.
There’s few better centres to focus on in those terms, Slattery says, considering Orange Netball Association (ONA) is arguably the strongest in regional NSW, has already produced a handful of state men’s reps and boasts an excellent mixed competition as well.
“We always go away for a weekend to bond as a group before nationals, Orange is really strong netball-wise and I know the mixed competition is good too, so I suggested that’s where we go,” Slattery, who also has six Test caps for Australia under his belt, said.
“I didn’t even know there was [men’s and mixed] state and Australian teams until I went away with school and someone handed me a note saying they’d like me to trial. But it’s gaining momentum, so if we can help that along we definitely want to do that.”
The NSW outfit lands here on Friday, December 15 and will host junior representative clinics the following day along with two exhibition games, which will hopefully feature some of ONA’s best Toyota Cup players and division one mixed men’s stars.
ONA has called out for expressions of interest for that game, which will be followed by what Slattery labelled “an intra-squad game” for the NSW side.
“We’ll spread out across the first game, and mix in with the Orange players. We’re bringing 14, so after that we’ll play a game and hopefully show off what men’s netball is all about,” he said.
“It is played quite differently to the way the women play. They’re short, sharp, really quick, where we tend to be a bit more aerial. I always describe it as kind of like [Australian rules] on a court.
“After that, on Sunday, we’re heading out to my family’s property where we’ll do some bonding stuff and get in some training.
“Being from Orange I’m obviously really looking forward to it but the rest of the squad is too.”
The junior clinics will be $10 a head, keep an eye on ONA’s Facebook page for more details on the coaching sessions.
For interested division one players - Toyota Cup and mixed men’s - ONA is asking you register your interest, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, for further information, contact ONA president Jacki Jasprizza on 0427 621 318 or ONA mid-week convener Kim Hibbert on 0400 341 056.