Nationals are star's challenge

KRISTIANA Manu'a, 18, is taking giant steps in her bid to reach national netball team selection.

The Greenfield Park teenager is in the Australian under-21 squad which will head to the Australian Institute of Sport for a training camp in September.

The squad will then be trimmed to 12 and the final team named for an international tournament in Invercargill, New Zealand, in late September.

"I have set myself several goals this year, and that is to make Australian under-21s team for New Zealand and make the Australian Netball League Waratahs team," Kristiana said.

"It will be a lot of hard work, but I am up for the challenge."

Kristiana is one of netball's rising stars having playing in various NSW age representative age teams.

She began her junior netball with Cabra Vale Diggers Club playing in multiple grand final winning teams.

Last year, Kristiana, was selected in the Australian under-21s training squad for the World Youth Championships just missing selection for the Glasgow event.

While disappointed at not making the Australian team, she said the training camp experience was invaluable.

Kristiana said she recently switched State League representative teams from Liverpool to play first division with St George.

"I had to change state league teams to give me the chance with Netball NSW to play in future elite teams such as the NSW Institute of Sport and in the Australian Netball League."

Playing for the NSW Swifts in the ANZ Championship, the sport's elite competition, remains one of her biggest ambitions.

Kristiana finished year 12 at Westfields Sports High School last year.

She is now working part-time at Cabra-Vale Diggers Club, Canley Vale.

She also scooped the pool for her netball achievements and received the NSWCHS Blues, Sydney South West Blues and Sydney South West President awards last year.

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