YOUNG Echuca-Moama netballers Meg Rohde, Claudia Mawson and Bridget Byrne have played together since under 11s and continue to do so now representing the Goulburn Valley League.
The girls were selected in the under 17 interleague team which played in Wodonga at the weekend during the interleague clash against Ovens and Murray.
Their GVL under 17 team ended up stealing the match by a goal in time on 56-55 after being up 51-50 at half-time of the time on.
Currently playing for Echuca Netball Club in the under 17s and Rohde in B grade the girls made it through a selection process of 60 girls, five nominated from each club, to be chosen in the final team of 11.
Byrne was selected as one of four training partners in the initial stages, but after an injury in the 10-person squad she made her way into the starting team and capped it off to be named vice-captain, as chosen by the coaches Jacinta Todd and Di Hanslow.
The girls attended two try-outs over the Easter school holidays, with the squad being cut to 25 after the first night.
From there each received emails regarding their selection and for Mawson her inclusion in the team was a shock.
‘‘I didn’t think I’d get in when there were so many talented girls trying out,’’ Mawson said.
‘‘I was really pleased to make the team though.’’
Mawson’s usual position is goal attack, while Rohde plays in the mid-court and Byrne works in defence.
The girls had two training sessions prior to the interleague game and said it was daunting travelling all the way to Wodonga to play against a team they didn’t know much about.
‘‘It’s been really good getting to know the other girls in the squad,’’ Rohde said.
‘‘It’s hard playing with the girls you usually compete against each week in the GVL.
‘‘A lot of the team play for Shepparton Bears who we play next week so that’s been a big change.’’
But they all agreed the experience of playing with a completely different team was helping them grow as netballers and just selection into the team had given them more confidence in their ability to play.
For three players in a squad of 11 to be chosen from Echuca is a massive achievement in the eyes of the club and showcased the strength of their youth coming through.
The girls said the team had gelled well ahead of the game and even held their own in a practice match against the senior team ahead of Saturday’s game.