College netball competitions starting this weekend

The 2020 secondary school netball season in the Wellington region starts this weekend. After a delayed start, another bumper, competitive season is in store. Teams and squads have been busy preparing for everything that is coming up and will hit the ground running.

The format for the season has been changed owing to Covid-19, but there is still plenty of netball for the players to focus on in the coming weeks and months.

To kick-start it all, here are some players to watch in 2020 below. Note this is not a definitive list of all the leading players, just a cross-section from many of the teams that are sure to feature in the upcoming RSSL competition, and they are below in alphabetical order.

Harriet Abbott (Marsden Collegiate School)

Year 11 Harriet plays in the midcourt, usually in wing defence. This season she will be moving into goal defence. This is the first year that she has made the Marsden Senior A team, however, she has played in the Marsden Junior A side, and been part of the Senior A development group for the last two seasons. She has never trialed for Wellington teams. Harriet is also a top Football player at Marsden, and has had to make the tough choice between Senior A Netball and First XI Football this year. A focus on the former could prove fruitful. 

Lili Clarke (Wellington Girls’ College)

Lili represented Wellington in the U17s last year with distinction and she is really owning the opportunity on the Wellington Girls’ College programme.  More significantly, she was one of five Wellington players selected for the National Development Camp in Auckland earlier in the year, training with the top 60 secondary school players from around the country. Lili is also a very talented Basketballer and has played in her school’s Senior A team for two years.

Torren Isaako (Aotea College)

Torren was the Wellington Black U17 team’s MVP last year. She was a member of the Aotea College team that won the Division 2 RSSL competition last year that has earned promotion to Division 1 in 2020. She went on to be named in the Ikaroa Ki Te Tonga U17’s team to attend the Maori Netball Championships, where they placed second, and was selected in the successful 2019 Aotearoa Maori Netball International Secondary School team. At the U17 Netball NZ championships, Torren was named in the tournament team and was also selected to be part of the Wellington City Council Talent Development Program and Aotearoa Maori Pacific cup squad-winners Pacific Cup. In 2020 she was recently named in PIC’s Premier 1 team playing in the ASB Competition.

Mollie Nicol (Queen Margaret College)

Mollie is the longest standing member of the Queen Margaret College Senior A team, having been in the side since year 9. Year 13 Mollie plays in the attacking circle as a goal shoot or goal attack. She was selected for the Netball New Zealand Development Camp earlier this year, having been a Netball Wellington Centre representative player for several seasons and she was in the Wellington U17 Black team in 2019. As well as netball, Mollie is a nationally recognised rower and has been a Maadi Cup double sculls winner (with Mila Van der Wilt).

Eileen Polu (Sacred Heart College)

Eileen has been dominating the court since she was year 3 playing for Fraser Crescent School then being selected for the Year 7 & 8 Hutt Valley reps. Eileen has also played for Sacred Heart College teams for the last four years in top teams within her respected age groups, the last two years being named in Senior A. Eileen also plays club netball in Wellington for PIC in the 3rd team, alongside representing the region in the U17s Wellington Black team. Eileen was recently selected to attend the Netball New Zealand Development Camp. Her natural ability and precise timing defensively will be advantageous to her and her development throughout the game and her age grades. Eileen’s achievements so far are reflective of her focus and dedication to the game, her teammates and her trainings.

Lucy Ross (St Mary’s College)

Year 13 Lucy has been an integral member of the  St Mary’s College Senior A Netball team since year 11 after coming through playing in the Junior A programme. Lucy has come through Netball Wellington Centre age group representative programme with the Year 9, U15 and U17 Netball teams.  She was a member of NWC U17 team that won the NNZ U17 Age-group national championship in 2018. She is currently part of the Netball Wellington Centre Performance programme through the partnership programme with WCC. She has been selected to attend the Netball New Zealand National Development Camp consecutively over the last two years. She has featured in Netball Central Zone Talent Development programmes identified as an emerging secondary school player in the Zone.

Sam Taylor (St Oran’s College)

Sam will Captain the St Oran’s Senior A Netball team this year. She has been an integral part of the team since she was a year 10. Over the years Sam has been a constant in the various Netball Hutt Valley representative teams.  Playing GK, WD, GD and occasionally C, and her coaches are expecting a powerful presence on court both in her play and leadership.  A talented all round athlete with a strong and successful athletics background, she is looking fit, fast and strong as we head into the season.


-Story courtesy of College Sport Media