The Victorian 21/U state team want to harness their trademark of intimidation to set the seen as the 2014 21/U National Netball Championships gets under way in Adelaide today at Netball SA Stadium.
Victorian head coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell said the side had been working with Leading Teams to develop a trademark that will help them achieve victory when the 6-day competition wraps up on Sunday March 16.
“We have been working with Leading Teams and the idea is to develop a trademark which you can measure your performance by and their one thing they wanted to work towards was being intimidating, in a positive way, by being relentless, united and professional,” Keppich-Birrell said.
The Victorians face off against Queensland in their opening match this afternoon and will be looking to set the tone early and notch up their first win.
Having played a number of practice matches over the summer period and training sessions coinciding with the Christmas break, the team is prepared to challenge those who may have more star power to choose from.
“I think having the honesty with each other, it’s the old adage of will a champion team beat a team of champions and that is what we face here. You look at it on paper and we don’t have the ANZ Championship players, or those who have played 21s for five years that others may have. We are looking to win this using the power of team.”
“We have had a lot of practice matches against VNL Championship teams and they have performed very well in most of those games and it is now about bringing four quarters together consistently.”
Keppich-Birrell said a big factor for the team was identifying themselves when changes need to happen on court and taking responsibility for their own actions.
“It’s about communicating what needs to get done during a game. One of the main things for the team is for the athletes to take responsibility for their performance whilst it’s happening, rather than waiting for the break for things to get changed.”
“I don’t have any different expectations as to any other nationals competition I go in to which is to win. And the expectation that each player when they step out on court will improve.”
“I feel like this group are very focused as a team and know what they want to get out of this competition.”
Victorian 21/U State Team
21/U State Team Officials
Head Coach – Kristy Keppich-Birrell
Assistant Coach – Tracey Brereton
Apprentice Coach – Lyndell Bruce
Team Manager – Rebecca Mellington
Physiotherapist – Kirsty Barnes
Masseur – Shaun Whaanga