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Singapore Ready For World Class Challenge

 
Our netballers are banking on home support and experience ahead of the Mission Foods World Netball Championships 2011. (Photo: Netball Singapore) 
 
The numbers four, six and seventeen must be etched into the mind of Singapore netball coach, Kate Carpenter.

Those are the world rankings of Jamaica, South Africa and Botswana respectively that have been grouped together in Pool C with World No.19 Singapore for the upcoming 13th Mission Foods World Netball Championship, which will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from July 3 to 10.

With Singapore playing hosts for the second time in the competition's 48 year history, expectations are naturally high for the hosts and getting the better of her group opponents are high on coach Carpenter's mind.

“This is a very tough group but we have played against South Africa and Botswana recently so we know what to expect and we are feeling comfortable. But this is the World Championship and it is going to be very tough as we have two of the strongest teams in our Pool.”

On paper Jamaica looks the most formidable in the group, finishing third in the last two editions of the Championship. Meanwhile World No. 6, South Africa, is also shaping up well and coach Elize Kotze declared in a recent press conference that her charges are probably the best-conditioned netball team heading off to the World Championships.

Singapore's opening match against World No.17 Botswana will be crucial as a win against the Africans will set things up nicely for the Coach Carpenter's team for the rest of Championship.

In a bid to be in tip-top shape for the world championships, Netball Singapore have arranged for the team from the Australian Institute of Sport to be here for a month - from June 17 to July 11 - to train and spar with the national squad.

Friendlies against world No 1 New Zealand and Northern Ireland (world No 12) have also been lined up.

“We have set ourselves a target of a top-12 finish in the tournament and we have been working hard at achieving that. The team has been training twice a day for the past couple of months and have also played a number of test matches to get in shape for the tournament. With the Championships due to start shortly, we have intensified our training sessions.” said Carpenter.

Eight of the players named were members of the 2007 World Championship team while nine of the 12 team squad are gold medallist winners in the 2005 Asian Championships Team.

“We have chosen a very experienced team for the championship. Many of the players have experience playing at the top level. We will be demanding effort from all the players and they need to be collectively good to do well in the championship,” added Carpenter.

The team will be led by captain Jean Ng who will be taking part in her third championship. The veteran, who already has 86 caps, will be joined by another experienced player, Melbourne based Premila Hirubalan. The 69 capped Hirubalan will also be taking part in her third championship and Coach Carpenter will be trying to get the best out of these two veterans.

Singapore will sorely miss the shooting talents of Cassandra Soh, who has been ruled out of contention because of a recently diagnosed stress fracture injury. Soh was pivotal in Singapore's recent victories over neighbours Malaysia as she helped the Republic maintain their seven year unbeaten run against their Causeway rivals.
None the less, Ng and her team mates are excited at the prospect of playing in front of home support and much is expected from them.
 
“The team is very excited to be playing at home in front of family and friends and to show them the level of netball we’re involved in. There’s a depth of talent within the team and we’re confident of a credible performance.”

Support our Team Singapore Netball team as they take on the World’s best at the Mission Foods World Netball Championships.
Tickets are available at:www.sistic.com.sg