Baby Black Pearls drawn with host

Tuesday November 01, 2016 Written by Published in Netball
Rarotonga-based Daimzel Rongokea in action against Fiji in the World Youth Netball Pacific Qualifiers. 16103126 Rarotonga-based Daimzel Rongokea in action against Fiji in the World Youth Netball Pacific Qualifiers. 16103126

COOK ISLANDS Under-21 netball side has been drawn in an interesting pool for the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup which will be held in Gaborone, Botswana.

 

The national side will face Caribbean giants Jamaica, host Botswana, Malaysia and Uganda in Pool C.

Top seed New Zealand is grouped in Pool A with Sri Lanka, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Samoa while Australia, South Africa, Barbados, Zimbabwe and Singapore are placed in Pool B.

England leads Pool D, which also has the Pacific Qualifiers champions Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Wales and Grenada.

Cook Islands made it through to the Netball World Youth Cup after finishing second in the Pacific Qualifiers in September.

Netball Cook Islands president PJ Hockin said they were now on the countdown for phase two of their Netball World Youth Cup campaign.

She said the team was excited and looking forward to the tournament which will be held in July.

“Being drawn against hosts, Botswana, we hope they will choose the Cooks to play them in their opening day match as the nation who ‘inspired them to host’ next year’s event,” Hockin said.

Kate Agnew, the international events director for Netball New Zealand and the administrator for the Oceania Netball Federation, rated Cook Islands and Fiji highly leading up to the World Cup.

In an interview with Radio Australia, she praised Cook Islands for stepping up a notch in the qualifiers in Auckland.

“Well, I think there are a few things that have been happening all at once.

“One is they’ve (Cook Islands) got a very good young crop of athletes coming through,” Agnew said.

“They’re also under the direction of their coach John (Glassie), who has come out of Brisbane in Australia.

“He’s done a lot of coach development over the years and his coaching style and his management of his young players was absolutely outstanding.”

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