Five St George and Sutherland locals join inaugural NSW Swifts academy

Aspire: NSW Swifts star Paige Hadley with former captain and Sutherland Shire product Abbey McCulloch. Picture: Jessica Hromas
Aspire: NSW Swifts star Paige Hadley with former captain and Sutherland Shire product Abbey McCulloch. Picture: Jessica Hromas

Five Sutherland Shire and St George District netball association players have been chosen in the inaugural NSW Swifts academy.

The Swifts announced an intake of 24 players who will work under recently appointed academy head coach Lenore Blades. Players will benefit from three high-performance court sessions per week, three strength and conditioning sessions and programs involving performance analysis, skill and movement mentoring, sports psychology and recovery.

Sutherland Shire Netball Association quartet Charlotte Smith, Kara Styles, Laura Towell and Madeline Eaton will join St George District Netball Association representative Tayla Fraser in the squad.

NSW Swifts general manager Nikki Horton congratulated the selected players.

"This is a very special moment for these athletes who have dreams of playing netball at the highest level," she said.

"Not only are these players going to see the how some of the best in NSW go about their preparations, they will also learn from standout international players such as Paige Hadley, Sarah Klau, Helen Housby and Sam Wallace.

"It is vital that we have depth in our pathways. We saw how important players likes Sophie Halpin and Tayla Fraser, [who were] both named in the academy, were when injury struck. Having players of that ability able to come in and hit the ground running really helped deliver the Swifts' premiership victory this year.

"With this academy it puts us in a great position to build on our six premierships and keep the club at the forefront of elite club netball."

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