Celtic Dragons Under 19 2019/20
Bev Powell, Head Coach:
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to join the Celtic Dragons franchise at an exciting time. It was the start of its commitment to the development of future Dragons. Celtic Dragons U21, U19 and U17 squads were selected and I was thrilled to be leading the U19s with Mel Hellerman in this its very first season.
“We selected players from all over Wales, from Magor in the East to Carmarthen in the West and players from over the bridge in the West of England too. We were a little uncertain of how the season would look but the matches already secured and the prospect of many more would be a great start for the squad. Our weekly training was accompanied by an early morning S&C session with the team at Cardiff Met. The team there have been invaluable in their contribution to the players development. These future Dragons were starting to lay the foundations required at elite level.
“On the court, we’ve been working very hard. It was back to basics; ball handling, passing, movement, and footwork. We needed to ensure our players were well equipped not only to compete with our franchise counterparts but to have the skills on which to build for their future. We introduced good practice, pre-mobility, effective warm-ups and cool downs, opportunities for players to lead and take responsibility. Players learnt about behaviour and how those behaviours are relatable on and off the court. As the weeks progressed it was clear that the players were forming that great team bond that is so important in our sport. They push and challenge each other but support each other too when things get tough. The opportunities have come too, with some players periodically invited to train alongside the Superleague squad. What an experience for these young players!
“With the recent events, the team have been left with unfinished business. So disappointing that we were unable to see how far we have come and how well we could compete against NPL squads. The squad has stayed well connected since the lockdown. I am pleased with how they have committed to their remote training, how they have completed the challenges they have been set and how they motivate each other in these difficult times.
“I cannot wait to reconnect with the team, let’s hope we get back to the netball court soon.”