Watson in 21/U squad

STAR defender Chloe Watson capped off a stellar performance for Victoria at the national 21-and-under netball championships by being named in the Australian youth squad.

The former Sandhurst young gun co-captained the Vics all the way to the grand final at last week’s tournament in Adelaide, but they fell one step short of claiming the trophy.

Host state South Australia were undeafeated as they defended their title, storming to a 43-27 win in the decider.

Coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell paid tribute to Watson and fellow defender Emily Mannix for their efforts

“I have never coached a team to have managed over 40 positive turnovers a game and in the grand final we had 60, so they were definitely the back line stoppers,” she said.

The pair were among five Victorians to make the Australian 21-and-under squad, which was announced at the end of the championships on Sunday.

Melbourne Vixens Kate Moloney, Liz Watson and Joanna Weston were also included in the 22-strong group that features eight returning members of Australia’s silver-medal-winning side from last year’s World Youth Netball Cup.

The squad will attend a selection trial at the AIS in Canberra in September and a week-long tour of New Zealand is also planned in late September and October.

Watson now plays for City West Falcons in the Victorian Netball League and was a member of the inaugural Victorian Flames in the 2013 national league competition.

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