WA Men’s Netball team wins Australia nationals in thrilling final

WA Men’s Netball team wins Australia nationals in thrilling final

Last Updated: 10 Apr 2024
Localista Team

Last week, for the first time, WA won gold at the Men’s Netball Australian Nationals in the ’20 & under’ division.

To make victory just a little sweeter, the final was against Victoria, the undisputed leader in Australian men’s netball, with a team that had rarely – or ever – experienced losing a single game at previous nationals, let alone the whole competition. And, given the recent performance of WA football teams at the hands of the Victorians and others, we need to take our wins on the national stage where and whenever we can.

The finals

Victory did not come easy to the WA team led by Captain Tom Gorman, who was also crowned MVP in what proved to be a thrilling grand final. The lead-up to the finals was also intense with 10 round games played against five teams over five days, in which WA went down once to NSW and once again to the Victorian favourites.

On Friday morning, WA proved too strong against Vic in the semi-final, allowing the West Aussies to head straight to the big dance and making the Vic’s play a gruelling extra game against Queensland on Friday evening which they were eventually able to win, however due to injuries, meant that the Victorians lost a key player of their squad. The final game against Vic and their fourth meeting of the tournament kicked off on Saturday at 8am and did not start well with WA down 16 to 10 at the end of the first quarter. The team recovered in the second quarter to go up by one at the main break with a huge 20 goal second term. Shooters Toby Fountain and Tom Gorman remained at 100% accuracy to goal, a leading factor that kept them in the game. The WA boys built on momentum, with a four point lead at the final break however…

Vic recovered quickly in the final quarter and with just three minutes to go the scores were even. Late intercepts and key moments capitilised on by the West Australians allowed WA to secure victory and a final score of 56 to 51. You can see the entire game here.

The rise and rise of men’s netball

Last week’s victory bodes well for mens’ netball in WA, with three of seven players named in the 20 and under all-star line-up coming from WA: Toby Fountain, Tom Gorman, Levi Drazevich. This is on the back of last year’s victory in the Nationals held in Perth, where WA won the men’s open championship for the first time in 20 years. This year the fresh faced men’s open team came third, a great accomplishment for the new, young side.

Men’s netball is a sleeping giant of men’s sport and growing rapidly around the globe, where it is now played in 32 countries. It’s also a surprisingly exciting spectator sport.

Traditionally a woman’s sport, boys are now free to play in any team up to the age of 12, after which the majority of teams are girls and women only.

After 12, there are thousands of men playing in mixed netball teams, with the rules limiting the number of men on court to three at any one time, and just one in each third of the court. But all-men competitions and teams are also starting to grow as the popularity grows, with divisions including 17 & under, 20 & under, 23 & under and Opens.

Nationally, Victoria and NSW are leading the charge with an increasing number of men’s divisions and teams. The recent national championships also featured two First Nations teams. In WA and Victoria, the focus is on growing the sport at a grass roots level, increasing numbers and attracting sponsorship.

In WA, there are several Men’s Netball Associations that form teams, the largest being Kalamunda and Wanneroo, but numbers are growing. The state league men’s competition (West Australian Netball League) runs from March to July, and the Association Championships, which are the spectacle for young talent, are scheduled for July.

Sponsorship & participation

Associations are always looking for new players, so if you have an interest, go to the Australian Mens and Mixed Netball Association website or West Coast Mens and Mixed Netball Association Facebook page.

The WA team is also looking for sponsors. Currently, each WA player has to self-fund to represent their state and country. The recent nationals cost about $3,500 per player and the international competitions will cost more again.

For sponsors, it’s a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor and support this exciting new sport, including the upcoming international competitions in September/October, including:

  • 17 and under in Samoa
  • 20 and under in Singapore
  • 23 & under in England
  • Opens in Constellation Cup (alongside Australian Diamonds), locations TBC

For interest, contact the West Coast Men’s and Mixed Netball Association President Jerome Gillbard at admin@wcmmna.com.au.

The winning team

Daniel Buckingham, Ethan Creek, Patrick Daniel, Levi Drazevich, Toby Fountain, Tom Gorman, Luke-James Kani, William Linter, Declan Mensing, Alexander Sullivan, Xavier Vaauli & Micky Woodley.

See more sporting events in Perth

See more sporting events in Perth

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