Lauren Yager of Wollongbar practises her shooting in the backyard after being named in the NSW Under-17 team for the national championships.
Lauren Yager of Wollongbar practises her shooting in the backyard after being named in the NSW Under-17 team for the national championships. Jay Cronan

Lauren makes state netball team

LAUREN Yager was so sick last weekend that she did not even have the energy to put on her netball shoes.

That normally would not be a major problem.

The only thing was the 15-year-old from Wollongbar was in the middle of trying out for the New South Wales Under-17 team at Lidcombe in Sydney's west.

"I wasn't sure what was wrong but I couldn't eat for days leading up to the try-outs," Lauren said.

"I was flat on my back and had to get an exemption from the Saturday try-outs.

"I had to force myself to get up and play on the Sunday and that was pretty horrible.

"That was one of the hardest experiences I've had - I couldn't even tie up my own shoelaces.

"I don't remember much of it because I was so sick.

"I could only play three games before I collapsed in the toilets.

"But I would have been so angry if I didn't play."

Her experience in the try-outs may have been horrible but that was all forgotten the next day.

That was when Lauren got the call informing her she had made the State squad to travel to Launceston in Tasmania from April 30 to May 4 next year for the national championships.

"I was so happy," she said.

"I was jumping up and down and screaming and I still can't wipe the smile off my face.

"It's the best news I've ever received - I wasn't expecting to make that Under-17 team for a while."

It has been a year stacked with highlights.

Lauren made the North Coast Academy of Sport, North Coast and NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) and Lismore Under-15 sides as well as playing for Henry Rous, Alstonville High School and the Northern Rivers at open level.

The goal attack helped NSW CHS to a national championship and Henry Rous to the Lismore premiership.

Her Southport Carrara team also won the Under-16 Premier League in Queensland.

And if that was not enough, she was picked for the Under-15 Netball NSW talent identification program also at Lidcombe.

"It was a great year for me but next year is going to be even better," she said.

Lauren was almost lost to her native State when she was offered a scholarship to attend Logan's renowned John Paul College.

John Paul College has been Queensland champion for the past five years.

But it is unlikely she will move to the Sunshine State after making the NSW team.

Her pathway to the top now has been mapped out.

"I want to go all the way," Lauren said.

"I want to play for the Australian Diamonds and be a world champion."



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