Caption: Siti Marhayati Ahmad (R) is one of the returning players from the 28th SEA Games bronze medal winning squad two years ago. File photo shows her in action against Singapore at the biennial competition at the OCBC Arena Hall 1 in Singapore. Picture: Yee Chun Leong
Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE national netball coach Thilaka Jinadasa is expecting a stern test from the visiting Sri Lankan team for their exposure games next week.
The six-match friendly series, which is set to tip off on Tuesday, will be the national team's first competitive games since the final selection held on March 11.
"Now our national team consists of 16 players," said Jinadasa in an interview with BruSports yesterday.
"After the selection, one player quit because of school exams. So we decided to continue training with the remaining players and it made it easy with the selection.
"My objective for this series is to get the players to familiarise with different playing styles, to see how they read the game and strictly stick to our strategies," she added.
The venue for the series has yet to be confirmed but Jinadasa said that the matches will most likely be held at both the Indoor Stadium and Multipurpose Hall of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
"The team that will be coming to Brunei is one of the leading school teams in Sri Lanka. They are the champions of their age category in the state school tournament," said Jinadasa.
"They are very young and for sure they will be very energetic...no doubt about that.
"But I always trust my players... they are progressing well as I planned,” she added.
"We are still in pre-competitive season and once I start my competition season in May, we will know for sure what to work on," continued Jinadasa.
The friendlies against the Sri Lankan team will be their second competitive series after their trip to Sabah earlier this month.
The Royal Bees had a good outing winning all their three games against Sabah's netball teams in Kota Kinabalu.
They kicked off their campaign a 59-28 win over the Sabah state team at the Arena Futsal Yayasan Sabah.
They followed that up with a 50-25 win over the same team in their second game before beating Sabah Mixed team 47-21 in their third game.