U21 captaincy surprises, delights rookie
Storm Purvis' rookie season in the ANZ Championship just gets better and better.
The 19-year-old defender was yesterday named captain of the New Zealand under-21 team for a pre-World Youth Championship tournament in Australia next month.
The squad also includes her Steel team-mate Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Southlander Stacey Peeters.
"I'm really excited and really surprised," Purvis said.
"It's something that I've been working towards. Leadership was something I wanted to work on."
Purvis, who has captained teams at high school level, is an unabashed admirer of Silver Ferns skipper Casey Williams and would be looking to her as a role model.
"Her being one of my big idols, I'll be analysing her leadership."
Purvis, who is in the second year of a bachelor of physical education at Otago University, has also been named one of five finalists for the ANZ Championship's young player of the year award, along with Julianna Naoupu (Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic), Amorette Wild (NSW Swifts), Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit (Central Pulse) and Kayla Cullen (Mystics).
Formerly the rookie of the year award, Purvis would have locked in the title but the rules had been changed this year to include any player under 25.
Purvis is one of four ANZ Championship players (Selby-Rickit, Sophie Fenwick and Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick) in the 12-strong New Zealand team for the under-21 tournament run by Netball Australia in Ballarat, Melbourne, from August 20 to 30.
All players selected for these trials are eligible for the World Youth Championships in Glasgow in August next year.
Other teams who are attending the tournament are Australia, England, South Africa and Samoa.
New Zealand under-21 coach Janine Southby was pleased with the overall standard of the trials held in Auckland during the weekend. “I certainly feel as though the standard within the NZU21 squad has lifted over the last year,” Southby said.
“I am looking forward to working with a talented group of young players and know that the challenges they face in this upcoming tournament will really test them.
"This is a great opportunity for these players to push for selection into the final World Youth Championships team next year and gain valuable experience playing against a variety of international teams."
The New Zealand under-21 final squad for the World Youth Championships will be selected after the Lion Foundation Netball Championships in October.
NZ UNDER-21 SQUAD
Shooters – Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Gemma Hazeldine, Malia Paseka, Sophie Fenwick. Midcourt – Nicola Mackle, Kirsten Hurley, Nadia Loveday, Stacey Peeters. Defence – Storm Purvis (c), Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick, Phoenix Karaka, Zoe Walker.
The Southland Times