Netball South has named an 18-strong training squad to prepare for the 2018 Beko Netball League.

The players were selected following trials last weekend and will now focus on off-season strength and conditioning. They will then be invited to participate in a second trial in February. A final team of 12 will then be chosen to contest the national league against teams from other Zones.

The Netball South Beko Training Squad comprises: Kendall McMinn, Jessica Dermody (Invercargill), Kiana Pelasio, Isabella Masani, Katherine Morris, Bridget Thayer, Lucy Heenan, Renaye Flockton, Zoey Flockton, Tarryn Dickson, Mariah Nelson, Poppy Restieaux, Georgia Heffernan, Kate Heffernan, Sophie Erwood (Dunedin), Caitlyn Gibson (Upper Clutha), Taneisha Fifita (North Otago) and Jessica Allan (Christchurch).

Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel head coach Reinga Bloxham, one of six local coaches tasked with selecting the squad, was impressed by the calibre of trialists.

“It was difficult to narrow the numbers down and when you’re choosing a squad that’s a good problem to have,” she said.

“We have some really strong talent coming through the ranks in the southern region which bodes well for the future of both the Beko team and ultimately our Steel franchise.”

Selectors also named an emerging talent squad of players to benefit from additional strength and conditioning support as part of the organisation’s performance pathway.

The Netball South Emerging Talent Squad features: Sarah Boomer, Emily Henderson, Mara McCurdy, Bethany Robertson, Nicky Wallace, Penny Mouat, Ella Brown, Laura Moffat, Meg Timu, Mikayla Thorn, Clora Quinlan-Thompson (Dunedin), Holly Munro, Kelly Shearing, Tyra Dunn, Jenna Kean, Bay-leigh Johnston, Amy Du Plessis, Roisen Laphen, Anna Henderson (Invercargill), Hannah Johnston (North Otago) Rachael Kummer, Cindy Weller, Hope Rae (Eastern Southland), Grace Schuurman (South Otago).