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Future Looks Bright for Severn Stars as it Holds its First Under 17s Trials

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Professional netball franchise Severn Stars has selected its first Under 17s squad as it looks for local talent to build for the future.

The final 16 players, selected from 130 young netballers who applied and took part in a series of trials, will form the Severn Stars Under-17 National Performance League Training Squad.

They will compete against other Superleague junior sides in the Under-17 National Performance League England Netball Tournament taking place on August 24 to 27.

Players selected are Thalia Letori, 16, Hannah Howl, 14, Harriet Sanderson, 15, Tee Cowley, 16, Felicity Elvidge, 16, Isabella Robinson, 17, Alex Baird, 15, Katie Cruickshank, 16, Jane Taylor, 16, Beth Gabriel, 16, Katie White, 17, Zoe Lovibond, 15, Martha Scott, 17, Summer Knight, 15, Darcey Scott, 15, and Chloe Carchrie, 16, who are from across the Midlands, South and South West.

Keen to engage with its surrounding counties, Severn Stars, a franchise partnership between the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire, had input from six county scouts, representing Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcester and Gloucestershire. These scouts helped identify the top 30 and final 16 to work with the Under-17 coaching team.

In addition, Severn Stars engaged England Mentors to provide support to umpires looking to progress. These aspiring umpires helped oversee matches during the trials.

This follows the recent announcement that Severn Stars will run five Nova Academies for under 17s from September in educational centres throughout the region as it looks to develop a pool of young talent.

Each education centre will host a Nova Academy, providing talented Under-17 players with weekly training sessions, strength and conditioning programmes and provision, high level technical training, as well as sports therapy and off-court support.

Players attending the Nova Academies will be working towards competing in the Severn Stars Under-17 National Performance League team and, beyond that, the Under-19, Under-21 and professional side.

Gilly Salter, Head Coach of the Under-17 Squad, said: “I have been so impressed with the number of young netballers who are for the first time putting themselves on a court to represent the Severn Stars. The numbers far exceeded our expectations and we have had to adjust our original plans to accommodate them all. Huge congratulations go to the final 16. They made life difficult for selectors as the standards were so high, and the future certainly looks bright.”

Pamela Cookey, Severn Stars’ Director of Netball, said: “It was great to see such a high turnout of players. The level of play shown by these young athletes definitely shows a bright future for our young rising Stars, which we look to enhance further with our new Nova Academies.”

Netball South West have supported the Under 17 team with a £500 contribution.