Net­ball trio go­ing places

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Net­ball could take three Porirua girls many places, but the Mun­gavin courts will al­ways be home.

Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Colleen Faleafaga and Jer­maine HowardVal­lance were re­cently named among 24 tri­al­ists for the New Zealand sec­ondary schools net­ball squad. Just 12 will make the fi­nal cut af­ter tri­als in Auck­land in April.

The trio are the only play­ers from the Welling­ton re­gion to make the fi­nal 24.

They are proud of their Norths club and Porirua back­ground, even if they do their school­ing in Welling­ton.

‘‘ We’ve been ju­niors out on these courts since [we were in] year 7,’’ mid­courter ReueluBuchanan said.

‘‘It’s our club and we al­ways love play­ing here.

‘‘We grew up on these courts; it’s what we know.’’

They are con­fi­dent of mak­ing the sec­ondary schools team, but not cocky.

All see it is an­other step in their net­ball ca­reers, which they are fully com­mit­ted to, on top of busy aca­demic pres­sure as year 12 stu­dents.

They would dearly hope to fol­low in the foot­steps of fel­low Norths player Whit­ney Souness, who last year was the first player from Porirua since 2007 to make the sec­ondary schools’ squad.

‘‘We all have good chances to make it, but it’s go­ing to be very com­pet­i­tive,’’ said Faleafaga, a goal de­fence or goal keep.

If named, they will get the chance to test them­selves against Aus­tralia in May.

Al­though net­ball is a win­ter sport, they have been putting in the hours this sum­mer, do­ing fit­ness work and train­ing with spe­cial ‘‘net­ball men­tors’’.

Reuelu-Buchanan has had to put bur­geon­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive touch rugby du­ties on the

‘‘You have to make back­burner. sac­ri­fices.

‘‘Your next op­po­nent could be out there, train­ing twice as hard, so you need to keep work­ing,’’ she said.

Howard- Val­lance, who plays goal shoot or goal at­tack, said they re­lied on fi­nan­cial and moral sup­port from their fam­i­lies, and could not achieve what they had with­out them.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Budding stars: From left, Norths net­ball play­ers Colleen Faleafaga, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Jer­maine Howard-Val­lance will be vy­ing for na­tional honours in April.

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