Denton aims for netball championships

Millicent shooting star Lucy Denton has her eyes firmly set on Tasmania after being selected as the country player in the South Australian Under 17 National Netball Championships side.

Denton will travel to the Apple Isle with the 12-player squad to take on the country’s best netball talent across six days of heated on-court action.

The 17-year-old said she could not wait to jump into the state setup and perform on the representative stage.

This will not be Denton’s first foray into the South Australian team having previously represented the state twice at the Under 15’s level.

She said the biggest thing she took from playing as a bottom and top age player was to not let personal ambitions get in the way of team success.

“Just to take every moment as it comes and not to think too far ahead,” Denton said.

“They stick with a good starting seven so it is just about preparing yourself to be in or not and focusing on the team and not yourself.

“You still want to focus on your own performance, but there is a really good team environment.”

When the National Netball Championships take place in Hobart from July 6-11, South Australia may be targeted.

The state has been a dominant force across multiple age groups for many years and Denton admitted the success does create some added pressure.

“In my maiden year it was the first time the Under 15’s had won in 25 years which was pretty cool,” she said.

“We then went back-to-back, but there is definitely some pressure because the under 17’s has won four or five years in a row.”

Having been blooded in the SA Under 17’s development team and training with the playing side over the past two years, Denton has a taste of what to expect.

But after excelling through the rigorous selection process, she is preparing to encounter some of the toughest netball she has ever witnessed.

“It is going to be a very high standard of netball against the best girls around Australia,” Denton said.

Denton’s family lives and breathes netball, with her mum Donna a club legend at Millicent, while her younger siblings are also keen players.

Lucy Denton has become a major part of the Saints’ unbeatable A Grade team over the last four years and said the experience of winning Western Border flags at the senior level has enhanced her skills.

“Being a top age player in Under 17’s I am pretty much the same size as everyone on the court, so hitting the bigger bodies at the senior level is really good,” she said.

“It has been great to come up against some very good netballers and gain more experience.”

After senior netball was not possible last year due to COVID-19, Denton ensured she did not lose any momentum in her career by playing Under 17’s and doing lots of hard work on and off the court.

In 2021 she will remain a key component in Millicent’s top senior and junior sides and said the grind will not stop with nationals on the horizon.

“I have done a lot of hard work on and off the court keeping fit and will do everything to be the best netball player I can be,” Denton said. 

West Gambier’s Sarah Ritter and Hatherleigh’s Lacey Haines have been named in the Under 17 state development team to train alongside the national players.

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