NTC Squads named
The state-based NTC Coaches have today confirmed their squad lists for 2015/16. Bowls Australia have today confirmed 86 of the sport’s most talented players as members of the state-based National Training Centre program.
Overseen by National coach Steve Glasson, the NTC squads serve as a feeder program for the top tier Australian Jackaroos, with the identified players earmarked as potential future national representatives and provided with invaluable support from the five NTC coaches spread across the nation.
The national selection panel have utilised the announcement of the NTC squad listings as an opportunity to further revise the national pathway system, electing to consolidate the amount of squads with the removal of the second tier Australia A squad.
The modified pathway format now sees the NTC squads feed directly into the Australian Jackaroos squad, which incorporates the nation’s best 10 male and 10 female players.
Queensland’s NTC program, headed by former world number two Brett Wilkie as coach, has the biggest change of personnel, with eight new or returning members to the 23 player team.
Tweed Heads’ Kristy Thatcher, Broadbeach’s Sean Ingham and Caloundra’s Bolivia Millerick all join the Maroon’s program after missing selection in the Australian Jackaroos contingent this year and the removal of the Australia A squad.
Former one-time Australian representative Sean Baker, from Hamilton, has found his way back into the national system, following his recent $15,000 Australian Open pairs victory alongside current member Robbie Wild, from the APL’s Brisbane Gold franchise owner Club Pine Rivers, with runner-up Braiden Leese also earning inclusion after a hiatus, while his pairs partner Sam White secured a spot for the first time.
Also earning a guernsey in Wilkie’s star-studded outfit is former Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist Georgia White and 19 year-old Wellers Hill product Cohen Litfin.
NSW also received an injection of former Australian Jackaroos squad members, with Hong Kong Classic pairs winner Matthew Baus, 2008 world champion Claire Turley and 2014 Australian Open triples winner Samantha Shannahan, while 18 year-old Merrylands prodigy Mason Lewis rounds out the list of inclusions.
The combined NSW/ACT NTC squad, helmed by National Assistant coach Gary Willis, also features two members from the nation’s capital, with Weston Creek’s Jessica Hogan, 16, retaining her position, while her 22 year-old club mate Mac McLean earned the favour of Willis.
Northern Territory representatives feature prominently in the program, with four additions rounding out their total number to six.
Pint-sized 12 year-old Marcus Simpson, who impressed the bowls fraternity with stunning efforts at the Australian Under-18 Championships, staged at his home patch of Nightcliff, headlines the Top End’s talent, while his club teammate Mark Malogorski earns a berth, as does Darwin’s young talent, Shae Smith, 17, and Christian Pace, 30.
South Australia, who also share the services of coach Faye Luke, add APL’s Messenger Press Adelaide Endurance APL01 MVP Scott Thulborn to their contingent, alongside arguably the Australian Open’s best performed player Nathan Pedersen, and a trio of young-guns; Bailey Rafferty, 15, and 16 year-olds Tyson Wilson and James Bodnar.
Tasmania and Victoria’s NTC program, spearheaded by coach Mark Cowan, boasts four inclusions to their already impressive line-up, with Mitchell Banks, 17, and Mikayla Fuller, 16, coming from the Apple Isle, while Victorian additions include Australian Open’s singles quarter-finalist Tiffany Brodie, 17, and Shepparton’s Bradley Orr, 24.
Western Australia’s outfit, headed by Therese Hastings, features a return for Manning’s Shenayde Heldt to the program, alongside two new members, with Cambridge’s Cameron Harris, 19, Bedford’s Cody Packer making the cut for the first time.
Click here to view the complete list of NTC squad members, which also outlines their individual ages and current club details.