Ballina teen selected to represent Australia in netball
BALLINA netballer James Joblin has been selected to represent Australia after standout performances at the Under-20 Australian Championships in Melbourne.
Joblin played for Queensland and was named Most Valuable Player when his team beat Victoria in the final.
He will now represent the Australian Under-17 team when they head to New Zealand in September.
They will play in a similar competition format against teams from across the country.
"I was really nervous at the start of the week and it took me a while to settle in," Joblin said.
"To be the youngest player on the court (in the final) and have the umpires vote me as MVP was pretty special.
"It wasn't something I was expecting and I can't wait to get my Australian uniform now and travel overseas with the team."
The 16-year-old has been playing netball around the Far North Coast since he was seven and is a graded umpire at Ballina.
He expects tough competition in New Zealand when they compete in the national tournament.
"I think the team only won two games last year and that's the best they've done over there," Joblin said.
"We won't get a chance to train much before we go but we have three days set aside once we're over there."
It was only out of convenience that Joblin started playing all those years ago when, during one of the winter seasons, his mother could not get him to soccer and his sisters to netball.
After trying soccer and other sports he always found himself back on the netball court.
The chance to own a new phone provided extra motivation for him to earn Australian selection.
"Mum promised to buy me and a new iPhone if I made the team," Joblin said.
"I'm going to make sure I have it to take on the trip in September."