AUSTRALIA'S defence of its world youth netball title begins in Scotland overnight, under the guidance of Bendigo coaching identity Carol Byers.
The national 21-and-under team takes on Israel at 12.30am Saturday in its opening match of the world championships in Glasgow.
Byers has been at the helm of the squad since July 2011, when she accepted the full-time role of Netball Australia coach and athlete development manager.
This will be the first time the two nations have met, with Israel making its world championship debut against the international powerhouse and defending champion.
“Israel hasn’t got a huge history as far as netball goes but you can’t take any game lightly at the world youth netball championships,” Byers said this week.
“It will provide us with an opportunity to get out there, warming up well and putting all the tactics and strategies on court so we can be in a position to play good netball.”
Australia also faces Namibia, Fiji and South Africa in its Pool A preliminary games over the first five days of the carnival.
The Australians, who have been preparing for the tournament at a sports village in Stirling, have never lost a game during the group stages since the event was first held in 1988.
Their only defeats in 49 previous world youth netball championship matches came against New Zealand in the 1992 final and 2005 semi-final.
But Byers said her troops would not rest on their laurels.
“I don’t think there are any easy games when you get to this level," she said.
"It’s about making sure you’ve done all your preparation, scouting and plans, then it’s about preparing the athletes to the best they can be and performing on the day.
“We’re confident knowing that we’ve put in the hard work beforehand, so we can be in control of our own destiny.”