After their third placed finish at the Asian Championships, the national netball team is looking to bounce back with a strong showing at the 2016 Mission Foods Nations Cup, said skipper Vanessa Lee.
Team Singapore netballer Vanessa Lee in action during training. Photo: Sport Singapore
Lee, 32, said although the results at the recent Asian Championships were not ideal, the competition gave the newly formed Singapore team a chance to gel.
“From this competition, we know where we need to head to, what else we need to work on,” said Lee. “In terms of chemistry, knowing each other's play, definitely (now) we know each other better.”
Team Singapore netballers are currently training hard for the Netball Nations Cup. Photo: Sport Singapore
The veteran defender came out of retirement to lead the freshly formed national team about two months before the 2016 Asian Championships. With 63 caps under her belt, her wealth of experience is crucial especially as the team injects new blood after the departure of Micky Lin, Chen Huifen and Premila Hirubalan.
Among the newcomers, Zhang Ailin will be competing against international teams for the first time in front of the home crowd. With just six caps so far, Zhang is raring to play in front of her family and friends and is hoping that the home crowd will lift the team to the next level.
Team Singapore netballer Zhang Ailin attempting to score during training. Photo: Sport Singapore
“I think it’s nice knowing that you have your friends and family supporting you in the stands,” Zhang said. “In tight matches, the crowd actually plays (a part) as the eighth player, I think it will make a difference playing on home ground,” she added.
Zhang also admits that the team is looking to lift their performances and meet their own expectations coming into the Nations Cup.
“The whole team, I think, what we really want to do is to pick ourselves up for Nations Cup... from Asian Champs,” said the 28-year-old.
“We know that there is a different set of expectations now and all of us know that we have to step up for this upcoming Nations Cup.”