Yeo takes charge of netball development team

Yeo Mee Hong will start training the 16-strong squad in May, after the netball league ends.
Yeo Mee Hong will start training the 16-strong squad in May, after the netball league ends.

Veteran netball coach Yeo Mee Hong will helm the new Singapore A Team, a development squad unveiled by Netball Singapore to help bridge the gap between the age-group teams and the Opens squad.

The 55-year-old was the Opens team assistant coach for over 15 years and led the national team to a silver at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur when she was interim coach.

Currently coach of Netball Super League (NSL) club Mission Mannas, she will begin training the 16-strong squad in May, a month after the league ends.

Yeo said she was encouraged by the enthusiasm and drive shown by the younger players at last year's NSL, after a new rule requiring clubs to field two Under-21 players for at least two quarters each game was implemented.

"It's really great to see that many clubs are putting in the young players and see them growing and competing really well," she said.

"This (the Singapore A Team) is a good platform to bring them abroad and gain experience against a different level and different styles of competition overseas.

"We don't want to see passionate U-21 kids just sitting on the bench and not getting the opportunity to play. The more they get players out on court, the more they'll grow."

While the team will consist mainly of players aged 23 and under, it will also serve as a platform to provide Opens players who do not get regular court time more opportunities to train and compete.

The team will go for training and competition tours in June and November, and will also play matches against visiting overseas teams during the year.

 
 

On Yeo's appointment, national coach Annette Bishop, who took charge last month, said: "Mee Hong has the expertise and experience to nurture and guide the younger players, using her years of Opens team experience.

"She will give them an excellent grounding in the way Singapore plays the game in the international and regional arena," added the New Zealander.

Wang Jingqing has also been named assistant coach of the Opens team, while Jolynn Loo has been appointed as apprentice coach to Bishop.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2020, with the headline 'Yeo takes charge of netball development team'. Print Edition | Subscribe