Hawks Netball’s Next Generation program is being hailed as a resounding success after its inaugural year, with the development program providing significant opportunities to some of the club’s future stars.
Having replaced the former Development Team structure in 2021, the Next Generation program saw five players given the opportunity to join the Hawks 19/U team’s daily training environment, training directly with the team throughout the year and giving them exposure to VNL game nights on a rotational basis.
In some cases, Next Generation players were called on for multiple VNL games and awarded significant court time when injuries and opportunities presented, in a team that finished the season inside the top two.
Midcourter Kaila Swindell was among those who enjoyed a breakout year under the Next Generation structure, and wound up taking the court in 18 quarters across the 10 games of the COVID-shortened season.
“Being able to train alongside the 19s team has been so beneficial for me and I’ve loved it. It’s helped me learn so many new things and become a much stronger and confident player,” Swindell said.
“I have been given so many opportunities to get game time, and training with the 19s has pushed me to always try my hardest and given me the confidence to step out on to the court.”
Hawks 19/U coach Guy Keane said the program had delivered on its aim of providing support to the team and also identifying young players with the potential to step up into a full VNL position.
The athletes are fully immersed in the 19/U program, being involved in daily training environment, athlete development meetings, game analysis reviews and opportunities to be a part of the 12 athletes for game day,” Keane said.
“All five 2021 Next Generation athletes have experienced VNL game day opportunities throughout the season. The program has also provided a healthy competitiveness within the team, with Next Generation athletes hungry to learn and develop at training.”
The Next Generation program sees players encouraged to remain with their representative or football-netball clubs for matchplay opportunities, with the Hawks program focused on complementing their regular club training with more advanced development alongside the Hawks players.
HAWKS ARE SEEKING EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FOR OUR 2022 19/UNDER AND NEXT GENERATION PROGRAMS.
PLAYERS WILL BE CONTACTED ABOUT TRIAL DATES ONCE RESTRICTIONS ALLOW