READY TO ROCK: Sunraysia Netball teams head off to the Netball Victoria State Titles this weekend. Jarni Hay, 16, of Mildura, Chloe Hoyle, 16, of Merbein, and Bronnee Loy, 17, of Irymple hope to lead the Under 17 team to victory.

By MITCH RODD

THE top netball talent from Sunraysia can put their skills on display for scouts at the Netball Victoria State Titles this weekend.

Sunraysia Netball will again send teams in Under 15, Under 17 and Open divisions to Werribee to test themselves against the best regional players Statewide.

The tournament provides the most opportunity for players to be identified by high-level talent scouts, particularly from the Victorian Netball League.

Sunraysia teams are in the best possible form leading into this weekend, with the Under 17 team taking out the recent Spring Carnival held in Sunraysia. The side beat 15 other teams to win their division, while the Under 15 and Open teams both made semi-finals.

Sunraysia Netball regional liaison officer, Alex West, said these results would bode well for the State Titles.

“All teams put in some really good performances and that is the best kind of match conditioning we could have asked for,” she said.

“A lot of their match-day opponents will be similar opponents that they will have this weekend, and it’s definitely the standard they will be facing, although perhaps at a higher intensity again.

“Our Under 17’s team won their Spring Carnival division for the first time. They put together an amazing effort, winning by a goal in the final. The Under 17’s did remarkably well at last year’s State Titles, coming eighth out of 18 teams, which is our best result.”

While individual players can use the State Titles as a mechanism for furthering their netball careers, Alex added that local clubs also benefit from girls playing against the best competitors in Victoria.

“Players, coaches and umpires will learn more and develop more at that higher level of competition and then bring those skills back to their clubs which can help them improve further,” she said.

“The only way these kids get kitted out like they do and are able to put their name in front of talent scouts is through the generous financial support from the Mildura Netball Association and Millewa Netball Association.

“If we don’t get to the State Championships, these kids don’t get exposed to the next level of competition and don’t get a chance to explore their options if they want to go further, or perhaps join a team if they head away to university.

“Two of our players, Bronnee Loy and Demi Toms, were invited to try out for the State squad and they went deep into the selection process. Those opportunities would not come around for our local girls without going to the State championships.

“This year 80 percent of our Under 17 team comes from the Irymple Under Division One premiership side, so that gives a great indication of the strength of that team.”