Canberra Giants gear up for Australian Netball League opener

While there's a bit of nerves, there's a lot of excitement for Canberra duo Eliza Burton and Amber Brophy who are set to make their Australian Netball League debut for the Giants.

Fresh from representing the territory at the national netball championships last week, the teenagers join Canberra based players Keely Rodrigo and Georgia Clayden in the orange and blue.

Canberra Giants netball season launch.
Canberra talent, Georgia Clayden, Amber Brophy, Keely Rodrigo, and Eliza Burton.
Photo: Jamila Toderas

Canberra Giants netball season launch. Canberra talent, Georgia Clayden, Amber Brophy, Keely Rodrigo, and Eliza Burton. Photo: Jamila Toderas

The Canberra quartet will line up in the 12-strong squad who will kick off their season against Victoria Fury in Melbourne on Sunday, May 5.

With a new look squad and a new look training staff, goal keeper Rodrigo believes the injection of youth will add another dimension to the experienced side.

"It adds a lot of depth to our team and I'm confident that if they had a go on court - or if anyone on the bench goes on - it wouldn't make a huge difference to the line up. Everyone has to put in one hundred per cent," Rodrigo said.

"ANL for Eliza is a huge development, any opportunity that she gets on court is always going to make her stronger and the same with Amber. So I am excited for them to run on."

The Giants regrouped in Canberra on Tuesday for their first session back with all the under-aged players returning from nationals.

The Canberra Giants are gearing up for the Australian Netball League season opener in a bid to go one better. Photo: Jamila Toderas

The Canberra Giants are gearing up for the Australian Netball League season opener in a bid to go one better. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Despite the limited time together on court, Giants assistant coach Rebecca Bulley assured that the players have 'gelled quite well' during training.

"The girls have been great in coming together as a team," Bulley said.

"They're all professional athletes. Even the younger ones, they all want to do well and for the team to do well."

Burton, who was recently selected in the under 19 Australian squad, and 18-year-old Brophy will play their first home game when Canberra takes on reigning champions Tasmania in round two.

After the Giants went down in a crushing 54-53 defeat to the Magpies in last year's grand final, the youngsters are determined to step up to the challenge for their veteran teammates.

Canberra Giants head coach Mel Clarke, and assistant coach Bec Bulley. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Canberra Giants head coach Mel Clarke, and assistant coach Bec Bulley. Photo: Jamila Toderas

"We've been working really hard so we are ready to put that on court," Brophy said.

"They are always push us to do our best and are always helping us to be better."

Canberra coach Melinda Clarke said the squad are looking forward playing the grand final rematch in front of their home crowd at the Lyneham Netball Centre.

"It has certainly been a motivation for those players who were in the team last year in terms of challenging themselves to be better and really wanting that gold medal this year," Clarke said.

"Obviously having that game here, as a home game for the ACT players within the squad will really be exciting for them. I know that all the girls are looking forward to playing here and we get really great crowds at our Canberra games."

The Giants will take on the Magpies on May 11 and 12 at the Lyneham Netball Centre.