The most talented young netball players in the United Kingdom will swarm upon David Ross Sports Centre, Nottingham, for the NPL Tournament between Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 July.
The annual competition has under 17, under 19 and under 21 events where teams from Vitality Netball Superleague franchises, home nations and other high-performance programmes compete.
This will be the third consecutive year the tournament will be held at the University of Nottingham. This year, teams from Leeds Rhinos, North East and Wales have been invited to take part.
The reigning champions in this age bracket, Manchester Thunder, will return to the NPL Tournament having battled their way to the title in 2018.
They play Wales in their opening game on Thursday morning and will have a tough task to regain their crown.
They’ll have to see off Surrey Storm in order to win at this level for the third consecutive year after the Manchester outfit defeated Storm 51-24 in the 2018 final.
Severn Stars will compete for another medal after securing bronze 12 months ago but newcomers Leeds Rhinos, North East and Wales will look to make a statement.
Eleven teams will take part in the under 17 category and will be split into two groups. The final placings will decide the play-off matches while the winners and runners-ups will play one another to decide the final on Sunday afternoon.
It was London Pulse who were victorious in the under 19 category last year after they defeated reigning champions Manchester Thunder 53-43 in the final.
Pulse will travel north in hoping to put in a similarly convincing performance this time around. The London club will face stiff competition from the other nine teams looking to claim the coveted top spot.
They get their campaign underway against Wasps Netball, who finished third in 2018. This heavyweight clash might just determine who will finish as Group D winners but Loughborough Lightning, Saracens Mavericks and North East will have something to say about that.
Manchester Thunder have had the best possible preparation ahead of this tournament, though, having won the NPL League in this category. Wasps Netball came a close second while Pulse finished third.
Ten teams will take part in the under 19 category and will be split into two groups. The final placings will decide the play-off matches while the winners and runners-ups will play one another to decide the final on Sunday afternoon.
Vitality Rose Nat Panagarry said that ‘there are a lot of young amazing new players coming through and that’s really exciting’ during the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup and many of these up-and-coming stars will be on show in the under 21 category.
A fine collection of young talent will aim to snatch the title away from Manchester Thunder’s grasp. The franchise beat Team Bath 51-48 in last year’s pulsating final as Wasps Netball finished third.
The under 21 final has always been an exciting affair. This was exemplified in the 2017 final when extra-time was required to separate Saracens Mavericks and Loughborough Lightning, who ran out 50-48 winners in Nottingham.
Expect further drama this year when eight teams battle it out to finish first. Wasps Netball and Loughborough Lightning get things underway on the opening day of what will be a fiercely competitive category.
Eight teams will take part in the under 21 category and will be split into two groups. The final placings will decide the play-off matches while the winners and runners-ups will play one another to decide the final on Sunday afternoon.
This NPL Tournament showcases the next generation of netball and will be open to the public. Therefore, no tickets are required to attend the event at David Ross Sports Centre, University of Nottingham, and there is no charge for the event on any of the four days.
If you can’t make it to the University of Nottingham, you can follow updates from the NPL Tournament on the England Netball website.
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