Five local netballers have been identified as potential stars

STEP UP: Olivia Joyce is one of five talented Northern Inland netballers selected to be part of Netball NSW's Regional Development squad.
STEP UP: Olivia Joyce is one of five talented Northern Inland netballers selected to be part of Netball NSW's Regional Development squad.

Netball in the New England is getting stronger all the time and off the back of the successful Northern Inland Academy of Sport’s program, five future stars have been selected to further their skills. 

Armidale’s Olivia Joyce and Mia Tindale, Glen Innes’ Liz Chard and Emily Burton along with Scone’s Anna Atkinson were selected to be part of a new initiative by Netball NSW, the Regional Development Squad. 

All five are past or present members of the NIAS program and put their hand up for state selection in the under 17’s team. From the trials, their talent on the court was recognised by high performances coaches and will have the chance to extend on their skills through the new program. Joyce is in her first year of the Academy program but said it was a thrill to be part of another pathway program to improve on her current skills. 

“I got a talent identification email a few weeks after state trials and Mia did as well,” she said. 

“From there I think they selected girls to be in the regional development squad and I think it is aimed at more intense trainings and extending yourself as an athlete without all the travel of going to Sydney every weekend.”

Joyce hopes to play at an elite level and believes the new pathways will only get her closer to her dream. 

While she works hard on and off the court, Joyce credited the wealth of knowledge and expertise around her with helping her excel.

“I am so grateful for my association, Armidale District, they're amazing here. I love all of the coaches I have, I feel like I take lots away from them,” she said. 

Glen's Liz Chard and Emily Burton will also be part of the regional development squad.

Glen's Liz Chard and Emily Burton will also be part of the regional development squad.