SEVERN Stars have selected 16 players to represent them at under-17 level for the first time in a bid to grow youth talent for the future.
The University of Worcester Arena franchise recently shortlisted the youngsters from 130 netballers who applied and took part in a series of trials.
The team will now compete against other Superleague junior sides in the Under-17 National Performance League England Netball Tournament, from next Thursday to Sunday, August 27.
The move comes after the club created six county scouts representing Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire to engage with young sporting talent.
Thalia Letori, Hannah Howl, Harriet Sanderson, Tee Cowley, Felicity Elvidge, Isabella Robinson, Alex Baird, Katie Cruickshank, Jane Taylor, Beth Gabriel, Katie White, Zoe Lovibond, Martha Scott, Summer Knight, Darcey Scott and Chloe Carchrie make up the club’s first-ever under-17s squad.
Netball South West have supported the under-17 team with a £500 contribution.
Gilly Salter, head coach of Stars’ under-17 squad, said: “I’ve been so impressed with the number of young netballers who are, for the first time, putting themselves on a court to represent the Severn Stars.
“The numbers far exceeded our expectations and we’ve had to adjust our original plans to accommodate them all. Huge congratulations go to the final 16. They made life difficult for selectors as the standards were so high. The future certainly looks bright.”
Pamela Cookey, Severn Stars’ director of netball, said: “It was great to see such a high turnout of players. The level of play shown by these young athletes definitely shows a bright future for our young rising Stars, which we look to enhance further with our new Nova Academies.”
Severn Stars will run five Nova Academies for under-17 netballers in educational centres throughout the region from September.