FORMER Koroit and Warrnambool goal shooter Darcy Saunders will play netball for Victoria.
Saunders, 20, has won selection in Netball Victoria’s 21 and under side to contest national championships in Canberra from March 12 to 17.
Colac shooter Rebecca Scott is also part of the 12-player team, which is aiming to improve on Victoria’s fifth-placed finish at the 2012 titles.
Saunders, a first-year occupational therapy student at La Trobe University, learnt of her selection during a study break this week.
She said she was surprised and excited to earn a berth in the team.
“I didn’t think I would make it because there were seven goalers that tried out this year,” she said.
“I played for Victoria in the (under) 19s. I was too old for the 19s this year but didn’t play 21s because I was doing basketball and netball and I had moved to go to uni. Now I’m all settled in at uni I thought I’d give it a go.”
Saunders nominated for the squad after a stellar year playing for City West Falcons in the Victorian Netball League division one competition.
She attended a three-hour selection trial a fortnight ago. Training sessions followed last Wednesday and Sunday and she learnt of her selection in the team on Tuesday.
Saunders said her netball had developed playing her first full season with the Falcons under coach Marg Lind.
She was also a part of the Warrnambool Mermaids’ championship-winning basketball side and has had to balance her netball, basketball and study commitments.
“My netball has taken a step and that’s why I’ve really enjoyed playing netball. I’ve had to commit to it,” Saunders said.
“That’s why I’m not playing basketball next year. I want to see where my netball can take me.”
Saunders said Victoria was poised for success in Canberra.
“I know last year they didn’t do that well — they came fifth,” she said. “But we do have a really good squad. We’ve got Kate Thompson, who has been at the AIS this year, and Micaela Wilson, who has played for the Vixens before, and Kate Moloney is also in the team and she’s just signed with the Vixens.”