Calm before the storm

Thursday July 06, 2017 Written by Published in Netball
Cook Islands U21 team in Gaborone, Botswana ahead of the Netball World Youth Cup 2017 which starts tomorrow. 17070514 Cook Islands U21 team in Gaborone, Botswana ahead of the Netball World Youth Cup 2017 which starts tomorrow. 17070514

Cook Islands Under-21 netball team is working on settling their nerves after arriving safely in Gaborone, Botswana, for the Netball World Youth Cup 2017.

 

The Baby Black Pearls left Auckland last week for the tournament that kicks off this weekend.

Cook Islands is grouped in Pool C alongside Jamaica, Malaysia, Uganda and hosts Botswana.

In its opening match tomorrow (CI time), the John Glassie-coached side will take on Jamaica.

This week, the players alongside the officials did some sightseeing to take the pressure off them ahead of the tournament.

In a post on the Netball Cook Islands Facebook page, the team shared a picture of their safari tour in Botswana.

“The squad had an amazing time, and were blown away at all of the wildlife they saw. Thank you to Cook Islands Tourism, we think we look pretty awesome on our gears,” the post said.

Cook Islands finished sixth at the 2009 tournament, but missed the last event in Glasgow four years ago.

The national side overcame a tough tussle in the Pacific Tri Series last year, where the side finished second, in order to make the World Cup.

In an earlier interview with Radio New Zealand, coach Glassie said he was confident with his squad, adding they were aiming for a top 10 finish.

“For us, to get an opportunity to compete is fantastic – especially for the Pacific nations because we do have the cost and that sort of thing is quite high because we have to travel every time we want to play any international game,” he said.

“We are hoping to finish in the top ten at this tournament – that’s our goal – so if we can get top two (in the pool) we’ve achieved that goal and anything higher is a bonus.”

Glassie also lined up practice matches against Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and New Zealand prior to the tournament.

He hoped this will give a wide range of different skills that other teams have to play against and help him with the game plan.

The Netball World Youth Cup 2017 will end next weekend.

Cook Islands U21: Alex Iro (Auckland) – Titikaveka, Ashley (Cope) Dixon (Auckland) – Takuvaine, Celeste Patutama (Auckland) – Arorangi, Chantal Tikitau (Cairns) – Titikaveka, Daimzel Rongokea (Rarotonga) – Arorangi, Hinemoa Mehau (Perth) – Arorangi, Maria Milani (Auckland) – Aitutaki, Mary Tuaana (Brisbane) – Arorangi, Moana Glassie (Brisbane) – Aitutaki, Nina-Tai Roberts (Auckland) - Aitutaki/Mangaia, Rochelle Teiri (Auckland) – Arorangi, Tetania Oaariki (Auckland) – Arorangi.

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