Emerald netballer Anna Young has defied the injury odds to make a remarkable return to the courts this season.
Emerald netballer Anna Young has defied the injury odds to make a remarkable return to the courts this season.

Broken Claw back on track

AFTER an injury-ravaged 2010 season which was thought to have cost Capricorn Claw Anna Young her netball career, the Emerald netball veteran is already back on the court ready for the new season’s challenges.

Young was one of four Emerald netballers selected in regional squads during trials held in Rockhampton at the weekend.

“I didn’t think I would be able to make it back at all,” Young said.

“I talked to a few surgeons and they all gave me varying outlooks… one of them told me I wouldn’t even be able to walk again.”

Young tore and ruptured ligaments in her ankle in May last year, forcing her to watch her Claws team-mates ascend to the state league grand final from the sidelines.

Final squad trials in Rockhampton on Saturday gave Young the tick of approval she once thought might not be possible.

“It’s just about getting the confidence and fitness back now,” she said.

Also making her mark at the Claws selections was 16-year-old Emerald junior Bianca Butler. While not named in the final squad, Butler has been invited to train with the Claws with a view to further developing her game to snare a future position in the team.

She was successful in earning a spot in this year’s Ergon Energy Capricorn Academy following trials over the weekend.

It was her second year in the 12-player regional squad, designed for developing and fostering players for regional and state representative opportunities.

“She is just so hungry and always looking to take the advantage during a game – it’s a great asset,” Young said.

The Emerald association is also celebrating the selection of two other juniors, Georgia Staal and Taylor Nock, in the inaugural Stanwell Development Squad at the weekend.

The SDS, which will be coached by Ms Young, is aimed at developing young players with the potential to make the regional academy through home training programs, mentoring sessions and participation in training camps.

Emerald Netball Association president Nanette Hall said they were extremely proud of the players.

“Considering the size of our region and the player-pool there is to choose from, to have Emerald players make it into all three of the squads is a great achievement,” Hall said.

Young said it was hard to determine the path the team would take after an off-season restructure reconfiguring a number of playing positions. But she was confident the outlook remained bright for the Claws in 2011.

“It’s difficult to tell because we have lost so many players,” Young said.

“But our core is very strong and the players who we have picked up - they show no weakness.”

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