NPL & NPFL Tournament 2016
Some of the most exciting young netballers in the country took to court in an amazing weekend of closely fought competition in Loughborough. The NPL and NPFL competitions took over the home of our full-time Roses for three days of thrilling netball.
Mavericks Youth had been looking forward to the NPL tournament as soon as the season finished. Mavericks Youth had a few performances to make up for and this added fuel to the fire to hit the NPL weekend hard.
They had their first game v Storm early Friday morning, this was a big first game to open the weekend considering Mavericks had lost to them earlier in the league. After a good warm up and a big team effort Mavericks took a convincing win against them 57-34. This was a great start to the weekend and put the team on a high but the girls had to quickly recover and get some rest as they had another game at 4pm the same afternoon.
Mavericks coaches told the team that ‘The only way you'll succeed in this tournament is if we always focus on the next game, no matter what the score was for the previous.’. In such a high performance environment this was extremely relevant. With games in quick succession there was no time to dwell on games they had already played, they just needed to move forward as a team. Which is exactly what they did over the next 24 hours, beating Team South Tigers 81-23, West Midlands Warriors 64-31 and Dragons 77-29 ensuring they went into the final day top of the group and unbeaten.
Mavericks Youth had a great support team working with them, physiotherapist Niamh from Body Balance, Performance Analysist Luke Oates helping to support Sam review the games and tactically how to change and build their game and Lynn Hatley as step in Team Manger, the team would not have been able to perform without them. .
On their final day Mavericks Youth had their semi-final against Yorkshire jets, who Mavericks Youth also were beaten by in the league, they left nothing to chance winning 55-29 win, securing a final spot against Manchester Thunder. Players had the opportunity to take power naps, eat recovery meals and get in the zone ready for the final.
With a strong warm up Mavericks Youth were leading throughout the game by 7 goals. But everyone knows 7 goals doesn't mean anything in netball! With some forced errors, the score got down to a close 1 goal lead. But with the calm composure from the team, and the advice from head coach Sam Meade and assistant coach Trish, Mavericks Youth took the game 48-47. CHAMPIONS.
Netball East would like to congratulate Mavericks Youth on coming 1st place in the NPL tournament!
Having not played together all season the lead up to the big NPFL tournament consisted of 3 training sessions where the 2 Netball East NPFL consisting of players from both Regional Oaklands and Braintree Acadmies learnt many important qualities and skills which helped them progress into the resilient and determined players on the Loughborough courts and work together as a team.
At the tournament East NPFL faced strong opposition throughout the three days; despite this the team did not let their heads drop and all fought until the last game of the weekend. The players determination was highlighted in East’s final game after a very long and tiring weekend, they managed to pull it out the bag in the last 10 minutes of the game. Netball East would like to congratulate East 1 for coming 5th overall and East 2 for coming 9th.
None of this weekend would have been possible without coaches Sam May, Sachel Grant and Keely Glenister working together and building this team spirit with team bonding, ice baths and team walks.