A new franchise in the Netball NSW Premier League, has picked up two of the Southern Highlands best and brightest.
The South Coast Blaze held their Talent Identification Program in partnership with Kiama Netball Association, Shoalhaven Netball Association and Illawarra District Netball Association while on the hunt for the best up-and-coming netball players.
The program has been created for 14 to 18 year olds to develop into future elite netball players.
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It also provides them with an opportunity to train with other talented players and receive specialist coaching in a high performance environment.
The Blaze got two-of-a-kind from the Highlands with twin sisters, Hayley and Emily Manning from Southern Highlands Netball Association being offered a position within the program.
The sisters couldn't believe they both got picked and can't wait to chase their dreams together.
"We both feel so honoured that we got selected into Blaze," Hayley said.
"Being twin sisters, it is always exciting to play netball together especially with an opportunity such as this."
"It is great that we can experience this opportunity together as we are both very passionate about netball," Emily said.
"We originally started dancing, then wanted to turn towards something more physical and competitive. We chose netball when we were seven years old and we have fallen in love with the game ever since, and are extremely passionate about it."
The twins will get to develop their skills across eight sessions by former elite netballers, including former Sydney Swifts stars Nat Behl and Kimberlee Gilmour. Also with former UK Netball Superleague player, Donna Fearon.
The Blaze will be getting an opposite end of the court package with Hayley and Emily and they've already molded their game after some great players.
"I play defence (GD, GK and WD) and have always been inspired to work hard from my idol, former Australian Diamonds defender, Sharni Layton," Hayley said.
"I play down the other end of the court in attack (GA,WA and GS)," Emily said.
"My inspiration has always been Australian Diamonds shooter Stephanie Wood due to her height and ability to shoot long range over tall defence."
When the girls heard the news they had made it to the program, it was party time in the Manning household.
"When I got the email for my selection my heart dropped," Hayley said.
"I jumped and screamed and ran straight to Emily and yelled "I made it! I got into Blaze!" I immediately got onto my phone and tried to call my parents as they were away at the time.
"I am so happy with my achievement and I'm so honoured to be a part of the South Coast Blaze Talent Identification Program."
Emily can't wait hone her skills in a supportive environment with the game she loves.
"While working with Blaze this year I'm hoping to accomplish new attacking skills," Emily said.
"I'm very keen to start applying my skills into training sessions and to see how I can get better.
"Shooting is my main goal that I want to focus on. I really want to learn and to gather lots of information on how I can make my game play even better."
The Talent Identification Program will help us both on our journey to hopefully one day to be a part of these dream teams.Emily Manning.
Hayley and Emily's mother, Carolyn Manning said the family couldn't be prouder of the girls.
"We are extremely proud of the twins and what they have achieved over the past couple of years in their chosen sport," Ms Manning said.
"They work hard and display a strong determination to achieve their goals. They are very passionate about their sport and enjoy competing at all levels.
"They have developed strong friendships with girls from near and far throughout their time playing representative netball, and that has been one of the best things to see, as well as their achievements.
"We are excited to see them develop new skills as a part of the Blaze Talent Identification Program and see where these skills take them in the future. We are proud of their resilience and their "never give up" attitude as they continue to strive for their goals."
South Coast Blaze Chairperson, Karina Franke thinks the future of netball is bright in regional areas.
"It was great to see a lot of talented players from the South Coast region and surrounds, including the Southern Highlands and Goulburn, be selected in the program," Ms Franke said.
"I commend all the players that trialled for the program and encourage those who missed out to trial again next year."
The twins have very bright futures in whatever they choose. They are looking to take these upcoming teaching opportunities and develop them to be the best that they can be.
"We are so excited to be working with these experienced netballers as they can provide new skills that we can take onto the netball court," Hayley said.
"These netballers have accomplished so much in their career and hopefully they can help lead us into professional netball," Emily said.
"Coming from a small netball association (Southern Highlands), we'd eventually like to move into teams such as the South Coast Blaze and NSW Swifts as we get older.
"The Talent Identification Program will help us both on our journey to hopefully one day to be a part of these dream teams."