Four Shetland netball players have been selected for the Scottish Student Sport (SSS) 2014/15 squad.
University of Edinburgh students Iona Holmes and Claire Morris, and Inga Woods and Ann-Marie Kennerley from University of Strathclyde, were picked following trials on Sunday.
Students from nine universities took part in the trials, which saw about 40 players whittled down to a squad of 18.
They will now train together, with their first session on Sunday 16th November.
Further selections will be made in the new year once the full competitive programme has been made. A fixture against British Colleges is expected be confirmed for March, as well as a match in April.
In the meantime the girls will take part in a training programme, which will include specialised, guest coaches who join the coaching team in different training sessions.
The four girls have played with, as well as against, each other in the past with recent meetings between their university teams seeing them on opposing sides of the court.
For Kennerley, who plays wing defence/wing attack, it is the first time she has landed a spot in the squad.
The 20-year-old from Cullivoe, who is in her third year of studying sport and physical activity, said she had not long since dislocated her knee-cap and torn ligaments in a netball injury and has only recently returned to the game.
She said she initially wasn’t going to go for a trial but then it was suggested by her assistant coach to give it a go. After being put through her paces at the three-hour session, which “was pretty intense”, her name is on the list.
Shetland players make up nearly a quarter of the squad and Kennerley said: “I feel like we’ve all kind of moved up together, which has been nice. It’s just crazy to think that four girls out of 18 are from Shetland.”
Morris, 20, also from Cullivoe, who plays centre, and is studying sports science, and Holmes, 19, from Lerwick, who is studying PE teaching and plays wing defence or goal defence, were in the team last year.
Holmes said the girls were aware of each other from netball fixtures in the past. Asked if playing in the Scottish student squad had improved her as a player, she said: “I would like to think so. I think I have maybe even learned more just from watching players as much as playing, just because there are so many talented players in the squad.”
Twenty-one-year-old goal attack, Woods featured two years ago – when she got the chance to go to Switzerland and Northern Ireland.
Woods, who is studying international business with human resource management, said some players selected for the team also play for the Scottish national squad.
From Gulberwick, she has been playing netball since she was 11 and said it was really exciting to be taking part, adding the girls’ inclusion was a testament to the quality of Shetland netball.