Newcastle’s Nakita Jackson and Rhiannon Stokes have been named as part of the twelve player 2019 NSW 19/U squad for the upcoming National Netball Championships in Brisbane.
Jackson played for Souths Lions in the Greater Open Championship season just gone, while Stokes turned out for West Leagues Balance 1, the eventual champions of the league.
Although Jackson and Stokes are leading the charge for Novocastrian talent in the state development squads, a number of other rising talents were also chosen in next year’s NSW Talent Squad.
In addition to naming the twelve players in each of the State Teams, selectors also identified 26 for next year’s talent squad, which aims to “keep the players engaged in the Netball NSW High Performance Pathway”.
Hannah Cullen was named in the 2019 squad, while Anna Atkinson (who made the swap from Scone to Newcastle to compete in the Open Championship), Erin Asquith, Lucy Tonkin and Zoe Peden were all included in the Regional Talent Squad from Newcastle.
Also named from the area were Maddison Mueller (Lakeside) and Melissa Winter (Great Lakes).
Netball NSW Head of Netball Nikki Horton announced she was “delighted” with the standard on show throughout the trial process.
“I think the selection process is always a long and difficult one, mainly because there are so many great players hoping to wear the NSW dress,” she said.
“Our selectors have been hard at work in both regional and metro areas to find the best talent and I think they have done an amazing job.
“The Nationals is where many NSW Swifts and GIANTS start out, as well as Australian Diamonds, so making our 17/U and 19/U Teams is a huge achievement for every one of these athletes.
“I would like to wish both teams the best as they start the preparation process for the 2019 Nationals in Queensland, we’ll be there ready to cheer them on.”
The 2019 championships take place from April 10 at Brisbane’s Netball Centre.