State Cup 2016: Dayna Gibson and Larissa Ward are two names to keep an eye on for the future

For the future: Dayna Gibson and Larissa Ward will lead the charge in Port Macquarie's women's 20s team. Photo: Ivan Sajko

For the future: Dayna Gibson and Larissa Ward will lead the charge in Port Macquarie's women's 20s team. Photo: Ivan Sajko

DAYNA Gibson will run out in her first senior State Cup for Port Macquarie on Friday in the women’s 20s division.

Gibson and teammate Larissa Ward have already had representative experience after being members of the Northern Eagles team.

That team stretches from Forster up to the Queensland border and out to Moree, so there is little doubt the two teenagers have the talent.

Coach Peter Vincent said the duo should enjoy their first State Cup experience.

He believes they bring attacking expertise and vision to what is best described as a developing team.

“Larissa is new to the game in so far as she’s only had two years of rep touch but she’s come a long way very quickly,” hes aid.

“She would be a candidate for the NSW development side for the under-18s for next year to play in the national youth championships.”

Vincent believes it is a matter of time before 15-year-old Gibson plays at further representative level.

“She’s improved immensely in the short time she’s trained here and she’s a player of potential,” he said.

“We’ve now got to turn her into a player of performance whereas Larissa is currently halfway along that schedule in performing.”

The experience Ward will gain from playing in the national touch league with the Northern Eagles will ensure she continues to develop.

”She will be playing the best of the best in the under-20s and not only playing against the best from here, Queensland and other states, she’ll be viewed by selectors for New South Wales and Australia,” Vincent said.

“With her talent I think she will be looked at and then it will be up to her because she’ll be noticed.”

Vincent said the Port Makos women’s 20s side in this year’s State Cup is a side who firmly has its focus on the future.

“It’s a very young side,” he said.

“There are two or three girls who form the nucleus of the side, but the rest will develop over the next couple of years.”

While it would be a challenge for them, Vincent said it was necessary.

“The women’s 20s is a strong competition, but it could be stronger,” he said.

The competition gave the club a good opportunity to develop their younger girls.

“In Sydney they have Vawdon Cup where their players get to play at a higher level more often so we need to take every opportunity we’ve got to give these girls exposed to that elite level,” Vincent said.

“If it means playing against very strong teams and struggling so be it.

“Then it becomes a psychological thing of keeping them confident and positive, but they need to adjust to the pace.

“If you hold them back you’re not offering them an opportunity.”

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