WARRACKNABEAL male netballer Riley Richardson will represent Australia for a fifth consecutive year.
Richardson was a standout in the Victorian 23 and under men’s team at the Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Association’s national championships in Brisbane during the Easter long weekend.
The Victorian team dropped its opening match to Queensland, but rebounded to win the rest of its games on its way to a grand final appearance.
Victoria was able to turn the tables on Queensland in the grand final, winning by 17 goals.
It was the fifth year in a row Richardson had been part of a gold medal-winning Victorian team.
Richardson said the team learned from its experience in the first match and was able to improve as the tournament went on.
He played throughout the midcourt during the tournament and played at wing defence and centre in the grand final.
“I kept focusing on things to improve each game and managed to come out and have a game I was really happy with in the grand final, which was really nice and obviously caught the eye of Australian selectors,” he said.
Richardson is already a world champion in the sport.
He was part of the Australia Sonix 23 and under team that beat host nation South Africa in the gold medal match of last year’s inaugural World Men’s and Mixed Netball Championships.
The Sonix will play a three-match series against New Zealand in Sydney during October.
Richardson said he was thrilled to wear the green and gold again.
“This is only the third time I’ll actually be going somewhere with an Australian team, because the first two times I made it there wasn’t any touring team – we just got selected and got a medal,” he said.
“I’m really excited because we’ve got a good mix from all states in the Australian team, so I’m looking forward to getting to play with some of the boys I haven’t worked with before.
“It’s always an honour to be picked for Australia.”
Richardson thanked his parents, friends, coaches and team-mates for helping him earn national selection for another year.