Yu's recall, 3 Nations Cup debutantes

National netball shooter Yu Mei Ling will be part of the Singapore team that will compete at the Dec 3-9 Nations Cup, alongside three debutantes in Siti Nurshawallah, Rima Yanti and Toh Kai Wei.
National netball shooter Yu Mei Ling will be part of the Singapore team that will compete at the Dec 3-9 Nations Cup, alongside three debutantes in Siti Nurshawallah, Rima Yanti and Toh Kai Wei.TNP FILE PHOTO

Missing this year's SEA Games was a "huge setback" for national netball player Yu Mei Ling, so much so that she had considered giving up the sport.

Now, the 26-year-old is glad that she decided to stay, as she will be part of the Singapore team that will compete at the Dec 3-9 Mission Foods Nations Cup.

Yu, who was part of last year's Asian Championship and Nations Cup squads, had "tried to fill (her) mind with everything else except netball" after being told that she had failed to make the cut for the Games.

But a few weeks later, she realised she did not want to stop just yet.

"I went back to my club for some training and gym sessions, and started slow because I didn't want to be out of shape when the team came back from the SEA Games," said the shooter. "So I started training with the team when they came back, and I'm really glad I made it back to the team."

Team-mate and Nations Cup debutante Siti Nurshawallah is equally excited about securing a place on the 12-strong Singapore side, which was announced yesterday.

The 24-year-old, previously a training partner to the national team, had been disappointed at not being selected for the national training squad after the Netball Super League (NSL) ended in April.

  • THE SINGAPORE TEAM

    Vanessa Lee (captain)

    Nurul Baizura (co-vice captain)

    Charmaine Soh (co-vice captain)

    Chen Lili

    Jocelyn Ng

    Kimberly Lim

    Melody Teo

    Nur Aqilah Andin

    Siti Nurshawallah

    Rima Yanti

    Toh Kai Wei

    Yu Mei Ling

"I just kept to my training routine and kept going for training, and my goal was just to play well for next year's NSL but I never thought I would make the cut for the Nations Cup," said Siti, who can play as a centre, wing attack or wing defence. "It means a lot to me because I've been working so hard."

Rima Yanti and Toh Kai Wei are the other two first-time participants at the Nations Cup.

Singapore, ranked highest among the six competing nations at No. 19, will be led by captain Vanessa Lee and co-vice captains Nurul Baizura and Charmaine Soh.

Said Soh: "The new players are not exactly new to the team as they've been around for a long time - Rima and Shawallah are outstanding players and I'm happy they've made it to the team.

"For this competition, it's about how we gel again and try to play a better game."

National coach Natalie Milicich is "happy and confident" with the team she has selected.

"These players have what it takes to face the tough competitors," she added. "They make a good team and with the right strategies and hard work, we can get into the top two positions in the tournament."

Nicole Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2017, with the headline 'Yu's recall, 3 Nations Cup debutantes'. Print Edition | Subscribe