We want to enter final of Asian Junior Netball, says coach Amalka | Daily News

We want to enter final of Asian Junior Netball, says coach Amalka

Sri Lanka junior Netball team: Seated from left Dr Shiromi Pilapitiya (team doctor) Vajira Pushpakumari (Manager), Victoria Lakshmi (Netball President), A.Muthumala (Acting Sports Director General), Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe, K. Maheshan(Secretary to the Sports Minister), Amalka Gunatilleka (Head coach), Sashika Samarasinghe (Assistant coach), Sajini Ratnayake (Captain). Standing from left Indusha Perera, Neesha Shalani, Sarah Pieris, Bashini Udagedara, Dilmi Wijenayayake, Minagi Kankanige, Timmy Gamage, Nethmi Wijenayayake (V.Captain), Nethanga Gunaratne, Jinali Balasooriya, Ranindu Perera. (Pix courtesy Sports Ministry media)

“Our aim is to enter the final of the Asian Junior Netball Championship which will commence on June 11 in South Korea said Sri Lanka junior National Netball team coach Amalka Gunatilleka in an exclusive interview before their departure yesterday.

We had good training sessions for nearly two months at Gateway International courts and those practice matches is a big boost to the Junior team led by Sajini Ratnayake who is an experienced player from HNB.

Sajini who was the former Holy Family Convent Kurunegala player has very good rapport with all team members while my Assistant coach Sashika Samarasinghe and team doctor from Sports Medical Unit and Manager Vajira Pushpakumari also very helpful to go forward and our intention is to come among the first three teams and if we will finish among first three we should have a chance to qualify for the next year world Junior Netball Championship in New Zealand said Amalka Gunatilleka.

This is my assignment with the National Junior Netball team and i want to finish this Asian Junior event on a high note added Amalka .

Apart from the three occasions Sri Lanka junior Netball team have qualified for the finals at this Asian Junior Netball history while last time in 2019 they had to finish in third place. Our first aim is to qualify for the final and next hurdle is to win the title. We know Singapore, Malaysia, Chinese Thipe have very strong teams and we never underestimate them and want to put up a good battle said coach Amalka Gunatilleka. Actually we have to play our first match against Korea on June 11 and before that we have some practice sessions to adjust to the conditions and make plans match by match. Netball Federation of Sri Lanka (NFSL) already plan their tour schedule and we are ready to do our part said coach Amalka.

The National junior Netball team last Monday met the Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe and got his blessings. I think Sri Lanka junior team will bring honour to our Country. I am really proud they are going with confidence said Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe. The Sports Minister also pointed out we are happy Netball Federation officials headed by President Victoria Lakshmi made good effort to earn sponsorships before this tour to meet tour expenses. Sports Ministry gave their maximum support to the tour while balance made from Netball officials and that is a good sign and example to the other sports bodies said Sports Minister.

Netball President Victoria Lakshmi said Hydramani Group, Dialog and Yeti gave sponsorships and not to forget players parents and officials of Netball also gave good commitment to Junior National team and we have good plans to win this major junior title. We are current senior Asian champions while we want to see our Junior team winning Asian title said Netball Chief Victoria Lakshmi.

The Chairman of the Netball selection committee Damayanthi Jayatilleka said we had very big challenge to select the junior team and some times media highlighted allegations but we (the three members) did our best and we hope this team get their maximum result on this South Korea tour.

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