Jets shoot for young stars

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

Depth is the key to climbing off the bottom of the West Australian Netball League ladder, according to Souwest Jets open coach Erin Culnane.

The Jets returned to the top-tier competition last season and struggled against the more experienced sides, but this season things are looking promising.

A number of young stars are returning to the fold, with the likes of Riley Culnane, Kate Duncan, Jess Repacholi and Harmony Sutherland all set to feature in the team.

The final trials for the Jets’ three teams are on this Sunday and Culnane said she was pleased with the talent that was set to feature in this year’s line-up.

“We had a lot of apologies from the first trials and a lot of senior players have nominated themselves for this weekend,” she said.

“We are still counting the numbers and working out the best combinations.

“The overall feeling last year was that it was challenging, but it was a big step up in play for them all.

“A lot of them all still have netball going on at different levels.”

Culnane said the squad had a good base, but she was hoping for a few more senior players.

“We want older players who still have something to offer in a mentoring role,” she said.

“We want to raise our average age on court and to mix with our younger players.”

Unfortunately, Shantelle Tassone is unlikely to feature in the team as she continues to rehabilitate her knee after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament last year.

“At this stage she just wants to focus on getting her knee right,” he said.

“She is rehabilitating well, but at this stage she doesn’t want to commit.”

Culnane is hoping West Coast Fever mid-court player Shannon Eagland, who is still returning from a knee injury, will play.

“We are negotiating with them now,” she said.

“Because our season is so late due to the Commonwealth Games, they wont be released to us unless they need time on court.

“That is beyond our control. I would love to have some of those girls, even just at training to help our girls.”

The WANL season is set to start on June 8.

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