She Shoots, She Scores

Photograph taken by Hannah Coleman (Vice President of Aberystwyth University Netball Club)

Thursday the 28th of September 2023 saw the beginning of Aberystwyth University Netball Club’s (AUNC) vigorous three-day trials. Students from all years try playing two positions in various games against different combinations of players. During the trials, the girls are assessed by two games (each running for five minutes) and specific drills. With seventy-two new members this year there is plenty of competition.

Due to these new members, the setup has taken a more focused approach with the new girls trying out on Thursday the 28th, all British University and College Sport (BUCS) players on Friday the 29th, and then everyone trials together on Monday the 2nd and Tuesday the 3rd of October. The outcome of trials will split everyone into five teams. Teams one and two play at BUCS level whereas teams three and four compete in Ceredigion League. Team five trains players to be moved up into other teams. With only seven players per netball team (excluding substitutions) players have to prove their skills.

New members have already found themselves in groups of fellow freshers. Although not all of them have played netball before, they have acclimated well to the club. From asking around, most of them have found their way to the club through social media or the freshers’ fair. Emily, a first year playing Wing Defence and Centre summarised ‘Although I have trialled before the setup does not differ as the fundamentals of the game are still there. Trialling is a good way to meet people from other years.’ She seemed positive and confident. The feedback from other new members was also entirely positive and relaxed.

Photograph taken by Hannah Coleman (Vice President of Aberystwyth University Netball Club)

As for returning players, the pressure is on! With plenty of fresh meat there is no guarantee they will get on their previous teams. Lowri Morgan, the Health and Wellbeing Officer, said ‘One hundred percent, the girls [freshers] are really pulling it out of the bag this year! Everyone is giving it their all.’ Lowri has been in the club for three years and is trialling for Centre and Wing Attack. Even though she has been in the club for the duration of her time at Aber, she is still nervous. Everyone is treated equally, no matter how long they have been a member of AUNC, meaning there is no favouritism or improper team selections. Another member Emma said ‘There are so many girls here this year! It's so action packed!’ Even though it is so fast paced there is time to bond with potential teammates, between games and before practice.

Captains must have a keen eye for details. With so many girls to watch during trials it can be difficult picking members for each team. Harriet Greenwood, 2nd Team Captain, said, ‘We’ve had loads of freshers enter trials with some keen and competitive people amongst them, who we look forward to integrating into our various teams this year.’ From a spectator’s point of view, it can seem daunting being watched by five team captains, but in reality, there is so much going on there is no need to feel pressure. As it is Harriet's first time attending trials as a captain, it is all a new experience. She said ‘It is great watching everyone play and seeing potential players that I would like in my team. I look forward to playing with both new and old netballers alike.’

Because it is such a large club, there is something for all abilities at AUNC. Good luck to all those who trialled!

Photograph taken by Hannah Coleman (Vice President of Aberystwyth University Netball Club)