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AUSTRALIA will be the destination for 15-year-old Anna Newell who has been chosen for the England under 21 netball squad.

She shrugged off competition from 85 other girls at the annual trials in Sheffield.

Success has come early for Anna who is rapidly rising to the top on the netball court.

Former England captain, Marion Lofthouse, who selected Anna for the county team, says of the youngster: "Anna has proven herself to be true England material and has been showing international promise since she was just 10 -years-old."

Marion Lofthouse was a former England netball captain and Northern Ireland coach.

Anna trains three times a week and plays netball for three teams, West Pennines, Leyland and Lancashire Under 21's.

In addition, Anna has qualified as a professional umpire - the youngest in the north of England.

Amongst Anna's many accolades is a medal achieved after being a member of the England under 16 team which won the 1995 F. E. N. A. tournament in Ireland after beating Scotland, Eire, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Hyndburn coach, Sue Grogan, speaks highly of the teenager and said: "Anna has a much broader understanding of the game compared to other girls her age.

And I believe her umpiring qualifications have helped her to achieve this." But, the coach who helped to nurture Anna's game, pointed out one of the downsides to Anna's success.

"Unfortunately, there is no money in netball and we don't receive any money in grants or sponsorship.

"Anna will have to finance all her own travelling, which mounts up when you include Inter-county tournaments and England training," she said.

But all her time and effort will no doubt pay off for Anna who has a dazzling future ahead of her.

Anna, of Stourton Street Rishton, attends St. Augustine's High School, Billington, Whalley and is currently studying for her G. C. S. E. 's.

She also helps the youngsters at St, Charles primary school develop their netball skills after school, on a weekly basis.

Her P.E. teacher, Mrs Parkinson, is said to be delighted with the teenager who intends to be a P.E. teacher herself when she is older.

In April, Anna will be touring Jersey with the England squad and then, in the summer, the netball star will begin her tour of Australia in Melbourne.

References

First published on Wednesday 25 October 1995: Lancashire Evening Telegraph.