JAKE Noonan has caught the eye of national selectors during his recent performance at the Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Championships in Sydney.
Noonan represented Victoria’s open men’s team which finished third at the event, and has since been selected in Australia’s 23 and under team to take on New Zealand for the Trans Tasman Cup later this year.
Noonan believes he was recognised for his defensive role at the championships, with speed and athletisism proving a highlight of his game.
“This was my second year playing state, and the first year up in the open category,” he said.
“I didn’t think I played a bad tournament, but honestly I probably wasn’t at my best.
“I was used a lot in the wing defence/goal defence role and I’m probably a bit taller than a conventional wing defence at this level, so that may have worked in my favour a bit in terms of national selection.”
Noonan is one of seven Victorians to be named in the 12-man 23 and under squad.
“Brayden (Pastore) is the only one that I played with at nationals, all the other Vics were in the 23s team,” he said.
“Australia is normally really strong at this age level, and I look at our team and think it’s honestly fantastic.”
Noonan also has an existing connection with 23 and under national coach Matt Blomeley.
“My Australian coach was actually my state coach from the year before,” he said.
“Talking with him I think I’ll be used more in a midcourt role for this tournament, as a centre and wing attack that can also swing into the defensive circle.”
Noonan cannot wait for his opportunity to pull on the green and gold.
“I’m really excited,” he said.
“Last October I played in the New Zealand Men’s Netball Nationals which was a weeklong event, and got to know quite a few of the boys I’ll be playing against in this tournament.
“So it’ll be good to catch up with friends, but also at the same time I know how physical they are going to be.”
The Trans Tasman Cup will be held in Adelaide from October 23-27.
It will be the first time since 2014 that Australia has hosted the three-test series, as the biennial event alternates with counterparts New Zealand.