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AFL Goulburn Murray Junior Netball Academy have had two of their members selected in the final squad for the 12 Years & Under Victorian School State Netball Side in 2019.

Mackenzie O’Dwyer from Barooga has been selected in the final 12, while Shepparton’s Ruby Diffey has been selected as a training partner.

These state championships offer gifted and talented students the opportunity to participate in higher levels of sporting competition against students from other Australian States and Territories. This team will be competing at the School Sport Australia Netball Championships in Canberra, ACT 14 to 20 September 2019.

AFL Goulburn Murray Netball Operations Manager Peita Sleeth said it was tremendous to see Mackenzie and Ruby selected in the final state squad.

“It is the first year of the GM Junior Netball Academy and it’s a credit to the region to see two of our players make the final cut and named as the best players for their age group in the state, and we wish them well in Canberra in September.”

AFL GM Academy Head Coach Ann Austin was pleased to see all the players that trialled do so well and to have 2 players make the final squad is fantastic to see.

“Mackenzie shows flexibility in playing attack and defence which has held her in strong stead across the 4 lots of State Team trial stages and gaining final selection. She shows some wonderful attributes as a netballer, and we are thrilled to hear of her state selection as reward for all her hard work.”

Ann also commented how exciting it is that Ruby was named as a training partner.

“Ruby is predominately an attacking midcourter and goaler, and her speed and agility throughout the court has been rewarded by training partner selection which will do nothing but improve her overall skills and development.”

Both players parents where overjoyed with their daughters’ selections, especially the hard work these players are putting in.

“We’re extremely proud of Mackenzie, for all of her efforts she puts into her netball” commented Carmen O’Dwyer, Mackenzie’s mother.

“We don’t mind running her around the countryside to all of the trainings, trials and games, particularly of late which has been up to 4-5 times a week, as long as she is committed we will support her 150%.”

Jill Diffey was pleased to see her daughter Ruby’s name included on the final list.

“It was a couple of very tough trials with some very talented and tall girls, but through our local training, academy and rep teams our girls get this level of netball, and coming up against 200 of the state’s best, the girls should be very proud to be named in the top 16 and to represent our region in the highest of levels.”

The girls will commence training in the coming weeks and will be under the guidance of head coach Stephanie Norton from Caulfield Grammar School.

About Players

Mackenzie O’Dwyer – attends Cobram Anglican Grammar School and plays locally for Barooga FNC in the MFNL. Mackenzie was also a member of the MFNL Under 13 representative team in 2019.

Ruby Diffey – attends Notre Dame College and plays locally for Notre Dame in the Shepparton Netball Association. Ruby was also a member of the SNA Under 13 representative team in 2019.

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AFL GM Academy Partners