The Canberra Giants are getting ready for the start of the new Australian Netball League season and are aiming to improve on last season’s result.
Canberra finished third in their debut season in the ANL after losing to the Western Sting in overtime in their semi-final.
Canberra’s Sharyn Hill and co-coach Maria Lynch, who led the inaugural 2017 Canberra Giants team, will return as the two Canberra Giants coaches this season.
Coach Hill said that though last year was fabulous, the Giants were disappointed with finishing third.
“To come third was fabulous but at the same time, it was disappointing because we were in a position to make the grand final. We had a good lead in the second quarter and we let it slip.”
The Canberra Giants announced their 13-player squad that will compete in the 2018 Australian Netball League, with the team once again consisting of ACT and NSW players, which provides a great opportunity for players to showcase their talents on the national stage.
“Our squad has improved in its depth which gives us a lot of options each week. It is also good for the girls because they will really need to compete to grab a position in the team. They will be under pressure to perform each week to keep their spot,” Hill said.
The ANL is the feeder competition for Super Netball, making it an important competition for the development of players with coaches keeping an eye on young talent coming through the ranks.
Hill said that the Canberra Giants side provides a pathway for ACT players to compete at the elite level and to be selected by a Super Netball team.
“It really drives the girls to play either before or after the Giants, with the big coaches watching them play. It is a good reminder that this is where we want to be to make the elite level.”
In other netball news, Canberra secured a long-term deal to host Super Netball games after Giants Netball committed to play matches at the AIS Arena for the next three years.
The ACT government paid Netball New South Wales $130,000 in return for one match per season from 2018 to 2020, with the Giants to host reigning champions, the Sunshine Coast Lightning, on July 1st.
2018 Canberra GIANTS Team
Georgia Clayden (ACT)
Ngawai Eyles (ACT)
Nalani Makunde (ACT)
Keely Rodrigo (ACT)