ANYONE who thinks netball isn't a tough sport should try telling Brisbane South Wildcats young gun, Chanel Gomes that.
Last week the 17-year-old goalkeeper was put through the ultimate examination when she endured five gruelling days of intense training at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) as part of the 30-woman national underage camp.
But it was all worth while in the end as Gomes was one of five Queenslanders to have their names read out last Thursday in the inaugural Australian 19-and-under team.
Gomes, who has starred in this year's Holden Cruze Cup Tier 1 competition for the Wildcats, admitted her selection came as a bit of a shock.
“Since the beginning of the year when I made the Queensland team, this was my goal,” Gomes said.
“I wasn't expecting to make it, there were some really tough girls trying out. Everyone is really good at this level.
“It hasn't sunk in yet, but I'm happy about it.
“It's definitely my biggest achievement so far.”
Gomes said the five-day training camp was the most taxing time in her netball career.
“It was gruelling, we were down there for five days and trained from six in the morning to 10 at night,” she said.
“It was different. We underwent fitness testing, lots of interviews like mental awareness, tactical course and how to land on your feet properly. So it was just as much mental training as physical.”
Gomes selection in the historic squad comes just a few weeks after she was named in the Queensland Fusion side that will compete in the upcoming Australian Netball League.
Despite being flagged as one of the best up-and-coming talents in the nation, Gomes will not have the honour to compete for her country on an international stage as there is no tournament set up for the national 19-and-under squad to compete at.
The team did however play two games against the AIS squad last Friday, which included seven members of the 21-and-under team which will be heading to the Cook Islands in August to compete in the World Youth Netball Championships.
• THE Brisbane South Wildcats put in one of their best performances of the 2009 Holden Cruze Cup Tier 1 season to trounce the Brisbane West Lions 83-34 at the State Netball Centre on Sunday and consolidate their spot in the top four.