THE national netball coach Thilaka Jinadasa (pic) is delighted with the potential shown by the players in the Under-21 trials for the ninth Asian Youth Netball Championships in Hong Kong from December 14 to 20.
More than 20 players turned up for trials at the Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday. "I am happy with majority of the players as I still have three months for the major competition. We plan some exposure series and hopefully players will be able to perform well," she told The Brunei Times.
"I will need to work hard with the new comers in the group to match them up with the standard of Southeast Asian (SEA) Games players," she said. "Hopefully with more training, all of them can reach the same level," added Jinadasa.
Jinadasa, who led the Brunei national netball team to their first bronze medal in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore last June, said that the Under-21 team needed to gain more international match practice ahead of the championship.
"Hopefully we can give more exposure within the next two months so that the team will be prepared for the championship," she said. "There are only five players who have international experience as they previously played in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore.
"This team will be up against players who have been exposed to more international matches, so it won't be easy to play against them," said the Sri Lankan. The session began at 7am with the players warming up before they were instructed for a match with the senior players as an opportunity to showcase their abilities.
According to the coach, every player was assessed by their individual skill, tactical ability, teamwork and fitness on the court. In terms of ability, the players have good potential in the offensive areas but more improvement was needed in certain areas especially in defence, said Jinadasa.
"The main concern now is the defence, as currently we are lacking players who can defend well and possess good reaction," she said. "We will also be working on the fitness of the players intensively so that they can play with fast tempo for the entire game.
A total of 15 players were selected at the end of the session with three players still on standby.