Emrah Manning has had a hefty taste of competitive netball this season, playing for Hunter Netball in the Netball NSW Metro League, and being involved in West Leagues Balance’s Under 23 squad in Newcastle’s development competition.
This weekend, it all comes to a head as her team take to the court as the curtain-raiser clash on Court 10 ahead of the Open grand final. Her Wests squad is facing off against Property Solutions 101 in a first-vs-second battle.
As well as the chance to lift the Under 23s silverware in its very first year, Emrah also has another goal in mind when she takes to the court at National Park tomorrow: she loves to show off how much she’s learned from all her teams.
“This competition in Newcastle, the Under 23s Greater, has given us a great league to showcase our skills that we’ve learned in,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to the game and I think it’s going to be really good.”
Manning studied under the tutelage of Super Netball defender Sam Poolman in the Aspire programs, and attributes much of what she’s learned in recent times to the lessons she’s been given by Newcastle’s reigning queen of netball.
“Without Sam and her Aspire program I don’t think I’d be playing the netball that I am today, I’m so grateful for her,” Manning said.
As well as Poolman’s teachings, Emrah said her involvement with the West Leagues top-grade squad, who are looking to secure their third consecutive title on Saturday afternoon, has been pivotal to her growth as a player of late.
“It’s really awesome, we train with each other every week so we look up to those older girls,” Manning explained.
“A few of us have even been called up to the West Balance 1 and 2 teams a few times throughout the season as well, everyone in the 23s wants to play in that competition next year or as soon as possible so that was really quite exciting.”
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As well as Emrah’s ambition to grow her own game, she has taken it upon herself to pass what she’s teaching back to the next generation of young netballers at the Newcastle Netball Association.
Manning will be helping Sam with her Aspire programs during Newcastle’s development dates, and has taken the helm of her own under 8s team this season.
“I help out with coaching with Sam, and that’s so exciting because I’m all about being a role model for the younger generation coming up, I want to set a good example for the next girls coming through,” Manning said.
“To give them any opportunities that I can is great, I love being able to learn all these things and then to be able to turn around and teach the young girls too. And I learn from coaching too, so it’s great for me as well.”
Newcastle’s rising star Emrah Manning, as well as West Leagues Balance 23s and Property Solutions 101, take to the court at 12.30pm tomorrow afternoon to the contest the very first Under 23s Greater Open grand final.
After their match, the Open Championship top grade title bout between Souths and Wests will kick-off from 2.30pm on centre court. Nine-NBN will be providing a livestream of the game, as well as a one-hour highlight replay on TV a week later.
If you are interested in joining Sam Poolman’s Aspire program, you can register for one of the program’s limited spots at aspirenetball.com/registration.