NETBALL: New horizons for Kitcher

STARTING today, Sarah Kitcher seeks greener pastures.

The Grafton netballer moves to Coolangatta where she will study Sport and Exercise Science at Southern Cross University's Gold Coast campus.

She will also begin Plan B in her netball career.

"It is definitely part of my plan to find a local team I can be part of and get involved in Queensland's State League," the 183cm goal defender said.

Not so long ago Kitcher was all set to move to Sydney. But when she was recently overlooked for the NSW Under-19 squad - of which she was a part of last year - it prompted a sudden change of plans.

In 2014 Kitcher represented her state in Under-19s and Combined High Schools and is again eligible for Under-19s. As one of the younger players in last year's squad, Kitcher was regularly as a substitute at Australian Under-19 Championships in Melbourne and had hoped to use her experience to step up as a leading player in 2015. But instead of the recall she had hoped for she was named as shadow reserve.

After the rigorous selection process she had no clue of the snubbing that was to come.

"It was disappointing," Kitcher said.

"I thought everything went pretty good last year and, like all the other girls, I had a good chat with the coaches at selections.

"The trials were tough, and they said it was all about fitness. I had trained hard and killed my yo-yo test - which is a fitness test, like a beep test. I was the fourth last one left and improved on last year by 12 levels, from 14.5 to 15.7."

Kitcher's understanding was that she was ticking the right boxes. But even since the team was selected she has received no correspondence from the coaches.

In 2014 Kitcher was one of just two country-based players in the state squad. She was the only country player named from this year's team of 12 players and six shadow reserve.

"The travel I had to do last year could've annoyed them," Kitcher said. "All the other girls all play State League with each other and the coaches.

"Last year I missed Tuesday afternoon training each week. It was fitness so I would just do that at home.

"This year I was actually moving down to Sydney."

But instead of her netball heading south, Kitcher is turning north in her determination to succeed.

"There are plenty of options for me.

"I'm not going to give up, that's for sure."



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