Photo: Pete Innes and Liz Paige at Netball Waitakere

This season’s scouting group is out and about across the zone - looking for the next cohort of standout players showing future potential for the National Netball League and ANZ Premiership.

Building Netball Northern’s scouting group

Each year sees the appointment of the Netball Northern scouting group - led by Pete McInnes, Netball Northern Athlete Development Lead.

Through the appointment process, Netball Northern seeks applications from experienced coaches across multiple centres. They look for a breadth of knowledge and views for a comprehensive look at where the next generation of top players are coming from. 

This season, nine have been appointed to the scouting group, with training and tools for the role provided to them by Pete with the support of long-time zone scout, Liz Paige.

Role of the scouting group

The role of the scouting group is to support the identification process of secondary school players who have the potential, through further development, to reach the National Netball League and the ANZ Premiership.

Pete says that’s the goal. 

“We want to find the next group and ensure they’re developed properly and ready to pop out at ANZ level.”

The scouting process

During the first few weeks, the scouts are out at centres, building their lists – before being asked to attend representative tournaments, including NZ Secondary Schools Champs and UNISS.

Pete says he and Liz meet with each scout at tournament to support them in refining their lists according to a three-tier template; categorising players based on age, experience, and skill set.

“The template is set up to help the scout look at things that make the players stand out and why they stand out,” says Pete.

“Can they change direction quickly? Are they particularly good at passing? Do they magically appear with ball in hand because their timing is good on defence? That sort of thing.”

“It’s also important to see players like-for-like, to ensure they’re not just standing out against teams below their level.”

Development opportunities for scouted players

The players identified by the scouting group this season will be offered further development opportunities, depending on age group, through the Netball Northern Development Day and/or the Netball New Zealand National Development Camp. 

Netball Northern 2024 scouts

Liz Page

BJ Keepa

Michele Wallace

Rachel Rasmussen

Jody McCourt

Natalie Matthews

Kelly Wieczorek

Carla Gordon

Melissa Bissell


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