Kangaroo Flat netballer Ruby Barkmeyer makes Victorian 17-and-under netball team

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ANOTHER stellar season from Kangaroo Flat netballer Ruby Barkmeyer has been rewarded with selection in the Victorian 17-and-under team for next year’s national championships.

Barkmeyer was this week named in a 12-player squad to contest the National Netball Championships in Adelaide next April.

The selection caps a standout year for the 16-year-old, who is a boarder at Geelong Grammar.

Barkmeyer was named best on court in Geelong Cougars’ Victorian Netball League 19-and-under premiership win in August.

Despite an interrupted BFNL league season due to VNL commitments, she finished seventh in the Betty Thompson Medal vote count with 14.

In May, Barkmeyer was one of the standouts in the 12-girl Australian team, which won a silver medal at the Digicel Punjas International Secondary Schools Netball Challenge in Fiji.

Her naming in the state team followed a lengthy selection process, involving several weeks of tryouts, with an initial squad of 50 netballers being trimmed to 25 and now 12.

Barkmeyer, who last year represented Victoria at 15-and-under level, said she was excited to again get the chance to play for her state.

“It’s very exciting … it was a long process with trials,” she said.

“There was a squad picked of 25 and we trained for three weeks together and the team was picked Monday.

“It’s exciting t0 be in the state team again – it’s a good bunch of girls and should be a fun time.

“We’ll train for a few months together before we go away in April. We’ll also go away with the under-19 state team as well.”

Barkmeyer will not be the only regional-based player in the team, with her former state 15-and-under teammate Maggie Caris, from Horsham, also winning selection.

The 2016 BFNL netball rising star award looked back on her 2017 season with great pride.

“It was a very busy year, but it was great to get that VNL premiership with the Cougars – we worked hard all season and that was a good reward for us in the end,” she said.

“To win by one goal was good.

“Things didn’t really go as planned with Kangaroo Flat, which was a bit disappointing.

“The loss of a few key players didn’t help us, but I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

Barkmeyer scored 32 goals from 44 attempts to be named MVP in the Cougars thrilling 55-54 grand final win against City West Falcons.

With year 12 on the horizon for Barkmeyer in 2018, she is at this stage unlikely to suit up for the Kangaroos next season and will instead focus on her VNL duties and studies.

“I won’t be able to come home as often as I have with study and national championships to concentrate on,” she said.