The game at their fingertips
NETBALL coaches have backed a trio of local stars to go all the way to the top of their sport on the back of selection in NSW schools teams.
Lauren Sculley, 16, Lauren Yager, 14, and Ella Durheim, 14, complete what is believed to be the region’s strongest representation at the NSW All Schools Tournament.
Sculley will turn out for the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges in open division; Yager, for the NSW Combined High Schools under-15s; and Durheim, for the Combined Catholic Colleges under-15s.
Sculley, who has just returned from the under-17 national championships, is a student at Trinity Catholic College and enjoys the tutelage of Kath Ellis – the sister of Australia’s greatest netballer, Liz Ellis.
Ellis sees hundreds of netballers in the region each year and for her Sculley is a standout.
“In terms of young netballers in the area, Lauren is above and beyond the majority,” Ellis said. “She has grown immensely in confidence and fitness and this selection will see her grow from strength to strength.”
Ellis, a fine sportswoman in her own right, sees the potential for her charge to catch the eye of the finest coaches in the land.
“Lauren is starting to develop the drive to make a career out of it; if she is in the right frame of mind I have faith that she can go on to play in the ANZ championship,” she said.
Yager, a Wollongbar girl, stands at 182cm and is a current Ballina and North Coast representative, and along with Durheim competes with merit in the local Senior netball competition.
She is the youngest girl in her State schools team and is highly touted by experienced representative coach and Lismore Netball Association president, Mel Dundas.
Dundas has seen the trio come through the grades from her various posts in the sport. She says that Durheim, the younger sister of Sydney Swifts player, Kristy Durheim, has shown skills from a very young age.
“These girls are very coachable, committed young players – the type that you want on your team,” Dundas said.
The NSW All Schools tournaments will be scattered through the current netball season, with the first matches getting underway next Friday.