Spencer girls impress at Mellor Olsson Games

NETBALL: The Spencer Academy's Port Augusta representatives made up half of the entire squad.
NETBALL: The Spencer Academy's Port Augusta representatives made up half of the entire squad.

Port Augusta's most talented netballers put their skills to the test last week, playing the best-of-the-best from across the state in the Mellor Olsson Academy Games.

The squad of 24 spent three days in Adelaide where more than 280 athletes showcased their skills at Priceline Stadium.

The Spencer Academy filled three teams in divisions one and two - all sides representing the region with a high level of skill.

The division one side faced a tough pool and a baptism of fire, playing the eventual Grand Final winners in their very first match of the week.

They went down by just three to the Adelaide Netball Academy before claiming their first victory against Southern region in round three.

The division two sides were incredibly dominant, with both teams facing off against each other in the Semi Final.

After a close match, it was Spencer Region A who earned a Grand Final berth.

They faced Northern Regional in the final match of the day and unfortunately conceded defeat by 10 goals.

Head Coach Dani Johnson said the squad thoroughly impressed during their three days in Adelaide.

"Wow what a very skilled and united group of players, was the word received by other academies, academy mentors, Netball SA and selectors about our Spencer Netball Academy girls," she said.

"Trepidation was well laid to rest after the games and looking to raise the bar again next year - great work girls, parents and coaches Beaudine, Tenille, Bianca and Jenna."

This year, the games took on a new format with the introduction of a Skills Session day for the very first time.

The session included six specialist on court sessions and three off-court sessions, giving participants added opportunity to help prepare for state team trials held at the end of October.

Netball SA Workforce Manager Roz Fraser said the change to the format was an important decision and one Netball SA believes will deliver greater value to those who participate.

"The main benefit will be that selectors will get to see how they transition what they learn in the skills sessions into their match play," she said.

"One of the biggest hurdles for players is coming to trials on their own and then not knowing anyone, so if we can prepare them in a controlled environment we hope this may help them perform at their best."

Seven girls from the Spencer Academy have been chosen to participate in phase 2 state trials; Gemma Broadwood, Zianna Chesterfield, Sophie Galmuzina, Haylee Holmes, Ashalae Perrm Gabby Rossa and Justine Vlachoulis.