'New' S'pore aim high at World Cup

Despite calling up just two players with experience at a Netball World Cup, Singapore have set a lofty top-12 target for the quadrennial showpiece in Liverpool, England, from July 12-21.

To achieve their aim in the 16-team tournament, the Republic must finish in the top three of their group, which includes New Zealand, Malawi and Barbados. They were 15th in 2007, 2011, and 2015, and 12th in 1999, which remains their best finish.

After announcing the squad of 12 yesterday, Netball Singapore chief executive officer Cyrus Medora told The Straits Times: "We are world No. 24 and, in our Group B, Barbados are 12th and the ones closest to us in the rankings. We will give it our best shot to try and beat them in our first game."

Captain Charmaine Soh and Kimberly Lim, who plays centre and wing attack, are the only survivors from the last edition in 2015. The majority of the squad do have major tournament experience, apart from goalkeeper Joanna Toh, who earned her first cap in a test match against Fiji last month.

Toh, 22, said: "The intensity is much higher than at club level and I have learnt from the coaches many different things in terms of game plays and tactics."

National coach Natalie Milicich intends to use the World Cup and October's Nations Cup to look at more players and prepare for November's SEA Games, where Singapore aim to reclaim the gold medal they lost to Malaysia in 2017.

She said: "We have a big loss with Chen Lili out injured but, at 1.86m, Joanna really helps us with the extra centimetres against tall shooters. She has taken a huge step up and we want to help her grow her game further in the next six weeks."

  • SINGAPORE'S NETBALL WORLD CUP SQUAD

    Lee Pei Shan

    Charmaine Soh

    Tan Xin Yi

    Toh Kai Wei

    Carmen Goh

    Kimberly Lim

    Shawallah Rashid

    Kwok Shuyi

    Aqilah Andin

    Melody Teo

    Sindhu Nair

    Joanna Toh

Making a surprise return is Shawallah Rashid, 26, who gave birth to her second child, a boy, only in February. She said: "I wanted to be a good example for my kids and show that mothers can also represent their country in sports.

"I was still in shape after giving birth, so it was a matter of working on my stamina and fitness after my confinement period."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline ''New' S'pore aim high at World Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe