Netball under-21s show improvement ahead of Japan meet, says head coach

|     Fadhil Yunus     |

BRUNEI Darussalam’s under-21 national netball team head coach Jane Searle highlighted that the players have improved since she took charge as head coach ahead of the Asian Youth Netball Championship (ANYC) in Kashima, Japan from tomorrow until July 7.

Searle, who originally coaches the senior setup, joined the team recently but saw the improvement in her charges in a short period since starting her reign as head coach.

“It is a very short preparation however, they (the players) have improved over that week,” said Jane Searle in an interview with the Bulletin prior to their departure for Tokyo at the Brunei International Airport.

“I am familiar with the national teams of the group that we are playing in. I expect there will be a strong competition and the under-21s have not played much in the lead-up to this.”

She added, “I know that they are full of determination and passion and I expect them to put a very good showing on the court.”

The national under-21 netball players in a group photo. – FADHIL YUNUS

The Brunei under-21s defeated Taiwan and Japan during their last participation in 2015 and the pair of teams will be reunited with the Royal Young Bees in Group ‘B’ for this edition.

“I know that the Taiwan netball team that went to the Asian Netball Championship last year were the under-21 team. So they have been together for quite a while.

“The Taiwan team might be quite strong this year. But as I said, the players (Brunei under-21s) have a lot of confidence in their own ability even though they haven’t had a lot of match play.

The head coach said the team, selected only last week, had been training without a coach for a couple of months.

“I have only just come on-board for a week and a half, so it has been a little bit difficult. But they are young and they are keen. You never know what can happen with a young team.”

She further added, “They are full of potential and energy and if they can click on the court at the right time, anything could happen.”

The Brunei under-21s will face Hong Kong, who finished third in the last edition, in their opening match of the 10-member tournament on Sunday at noon local time.

Meanwhile, two Brunei Netball Association (BNA) umpires have been invited to umpire at the ANYC.