Set for secondary school trials

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Waitaki Girls’ High School pupil Jennifer O’Connell has been invited to take part in the New Zealand secondary schools netball trials in April.

The aim of the trial will be to select a team of 12 from the 24 trialists, the team will then play matches against an Australian side later this year.

NZ Secondary Schools coach Julie Seymour contacted O’Connell to notify her of the selection.

The 17-year-old has continued to progress following her selection to the Southern Steel Development Squad in December 2013 and had success with North Otago last year, helping the side to a first Hanan Shield title since 2007.

North Otago toppled old foes Mid Canterbury 40-27 in last September’s final.

O’Connell, who can operate in attack and defence, said she is looking forward to the trial and will continue to hone her skills.

“It was very exciting,” O’Connell said.

“I want to work on my fitness but I have to keep working on the little things, too,” she said.

“Ultimately, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing and see where it takes me.”

Waitaki Girls’ High School’s sports coordinator Jan Meikle praised O’Connell’s dedication and work ethic.

“Jennifer has worked really hard over the summer, continuing to develop her fitness and netball skills,” Meikle said.

“We are all very excited for her and proud that she has received this level of recognition,” she said.

By James Ford

PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Waitaki Girls’ High School’s Jennifer O’Connell has been invited to take part in the New Zealand secondary schools netball trials.