Region blazes Metro trail

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Albany netballers Abbey Cristinelli, Sophie Lynch and Imogen Sivwright.
Camera IconAlbany netballers Abbey Cristinelli, Sophie Lynch and Imogen Sivwright. Credit: Laurie Benson

A group of committed young netballers from the Great Southern region are mixing it with the best players in WA every fortnight as they represent Albany Netball Association in their historic campaign, taking part in Netball WA’s Metro League.

The Metro League was introduced as a pilot program in 2019 to help bridge the gap between association club netball and the WA Netball League and Albany is one of only two regional associations taking part.

Over a nine-week period Albany travel to Perth on weekends to compete in the Metro League 18-and-under division.

This is the first time Albany has competed in such a regular competition held weekly in Perth and they have already tasted success.

With the assistance of Netball WA, Albany has been scheduled with back-to-back games on a weekend rather than making the trip for just one match.

The team play on Saturday and then have a quick turnaround to a Sunday morning fixture.

Albany sit in second place on the division 2 standings after four rounds with a record of three wins and one loss.

They have defeated Noranda, Mandurah and Swan Districts, with their only loss at the hands of Geraldton.

Albany coach Jenny Cristinelli said the competition was a wonderful chance for her players to experience high-level netball.

“Netball WA is in the process of making a new pathway,” Cristinelli said.

“The Great Southern area has ensured we’ve still got a pathway for our athletes by joining this 18-and-under competition after the ANA agreed to support it.

“This is a great competition for us to be a part of and credit to our athletes who find their own way up and pay for accommodation off their own back, there is no funding.

“We have 16 girls in our squad and the team changes depending on commitments given the time of year. We have surprised ourselves with how we have gone, three wins and one loss.”

Albany face Joondalup and Kalamunda and Districts this weekend in round 5 and then return to Perth again on March 23-24 before the finals on April 5.

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