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Canada set to tour Island

Bermuda’s preparations for this year’s World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, Scotland have received a welcomed boost.

Bermuda Netball Association president Tracey Sharrieff has confirmed that Canada has agreed to tour the Island in July to play three matches against the Island’s senior national squad.

She said the matches will afford some players vying for a place on Bermuda’s World Youth Netball Championships squad the chance to prove themselves against quality opposition.

“The senior national team will be playing Canada with the expected inclusion of a few of the under-21 players who have the opportunity to gain a wealth of experience in preparation for the World Youth Netball Championships,” she added. “They will get to see international umpiring standards and an experienced international team in action.”

Sharrieff added that Bermuda’s World Youth Netball Championships preparations are coming along “nicely” under the direction of coaches Gina Benjamin and Anthony Mouchette.

“Fitness levels are on the rise as professional fitness services (Ashlan Clinic) were hired in initial stages of training,” she said. “We hope to continue with these services, if budget allows.

“Some players are studying overseas and we anticipate they will be home soon for training and consideration in the selection which will probably take place end of May, first two weeks in June.”

The World Youth Netball Championships, involving players at the under -21 level, will be held at the new Emirates Arena in Glasgow August 22-31.

Canada’s tour of the Island will go some way towards compensating for the cancellation of this year’s Jean Pierre Netball Youth Championships in terms of Bermuda’s World Youth Netball Championships preparations.

“The Jean Pierre was cancelled due to low numbers,” Sharrieff said. “Most countries are preparing for Glasgow.”

The Canadian’s tour will also help Bermuda maintain its world ranking. Bermuda is currently ranked 28.

“Canada is currently ranked 21 in the world and like us have to maintain their ranking by playing one or more international matches per year,” Sharrieff said. “And the next Americas Federation of Netball Association’s (AFNA) Championships are not until 2014 because they are hosted every other year.”

Bermuda and Canada will face off July 28, 29 and 30 at a venue yet to be determined.

As hosts, Sharrieff said her association has been tasked with securing the services of International Netball Federation (INF) umpires, which is necessary for the matches to be considered legitimate.

Sharrieff sees no reason why Bermuda cannot hold their own against the visiting Canadians.

“Like the USA, Canada is beatable,” she said. “Our girls will just have to focus on their fitness levels once again and not forget what they done when they beat the USA who is currently ranked 18. Should we win any of the matches against Canada, our ranking should rise as the benefit of playing teams ranked higher than us weighs heavily.”

Bermuda Netball Association president Tracey Sharieff

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Published April 12, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm)

Canada set to tour Island

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