QUEANBEYAN under-15s coach Tina Phillips has seen all three of the ‘Bowyer girls’ come through the Queanbeyan Netball ranks.
And she reckons the youngest of the trio, 15-year-old Alana, doesn’t lose anything in comparison to her accomplished older sisters and ACT representatives Hayley and Lara.
A member of Queanbeyan’s under-15s representative side at last weekend’s State Age championships, Alana was one of 40 local juniors to compete at the three-day tournament.
Originally an attacking midcourt player, the Karabar High student has transformed this season into one of the association’s most promising junior defenders.
And there’s no secret behind the positional switch.
“Alana arrived back at training at the start of the year and she’d had a massive growth spurt,” Phillips said. “Her older sister Hayley did the exact same thing when I was coaching her a couple of years ago and I just thought, ‘her sisters are so good in defence, I wonder if [Alana] be any good in there.’
“I developed Hayley in that defensive position and thought she was pretty awesome and I think Alana has that same natural ability. She’s definitely going to be up there at State League level with [her sisters] in the future.”
Between them, Alana’s older siblings have already represented the ACT in the under-17s, 19s and 21s and both are members of Queanbeyan’s State League program.
While Alana is yet to reach those heights, it seems only a matter of time before a third Bowyer name is added to the ACT program.
“She’s only a few months in her new role but I’m just amazed at the progress she’s made,” Phillips said of Alana’s move from midcourt to defence. “She’s very strong in there and she seems to naturally know what to do.
“I guess sitting back and watching her sisters for a couple of seasons has probably helped.”
And Alana herself acknowledged just how important her sisters had been in helping her game progress.
“They run drills at home and if there’s something I’m not sure about they’ll help me until I understand it,” Alana said. “Just watching them play I get a lot of ideas on the game.
“It’s pretty handy, especially because they’ve been doing it for a couple of years now so they’ve got a pretty good idea of the game.”
Alana’s under-15s outfit finished sixth at last weekend’s State Age, winning 12 of its 17 games. The side had been hoping to claim a top-two spot in order to move up to division one at next year’s under-17s championships.
The best local result of the tournament came in the under-14s division two competition where Queanbeyan finished fourth after stepping up from division three last year. Queanbeyan finished 13th in the under-13s division two and seventh in the under-12s division three.