Dr Simone Nalatu has been appointed the coach of Netball Fiji’s U21 team.
The team will be competing in the Netball World Youth Cup Oceania Qualifier in Cook Islands in September and in the Netball World Youth Cup in Gibraltar in 2025.
Dr Nalatu hails from Dakuni, Beqa and is the daughter of the late Kiniviliame Nalatu who was a former Fiji Rugby Union player and former Fiji Hockey representative Faith Nalatu (nee Valentine).
She is a former Fiji Pearl who competed at two World Cups in 2007 (Auckland) and 2011 (Singapore) and is also a former Queensland Firebird who has played all of her senior netball in Queensland and Australia.
Upon retiring from playing in 2011, Nalatu took on coaching roles in the Netball Queensland state league competitions and for the Queensland 17 and under and Queensland 19 and under teams between 2017 and 2023.
She has also coached at the Australian Netball Championships (and former Australian National League) for both Netball Queensland and more recently the Sunshine Coast Lightning Bolts.
Dr Nalatu is currently the head coach for the Sunshine Coast Thunder which competes in the Hart Sapphires Series in Queensland.
Meanwhile Lusiana Nasedra Rakavono has been appointed the Manager for the team.
She is from Naqara, Waima, Naitasiri and played county –level netball in Kent, United Kingdom before migrating back to Fiji in 2014.
Rakavono has both coached and managed club and district teams in the Suva and Nasinu Netball Associations.
She also coached the Digicel Flames in the Digicel Punjas Reset Championship and the Fiji 21U Selection team against Singapore in 2022.
Rakavono managed the 2023 National Academy 17&U squad and the 17&U team in the end-of-year Academy Tournament.
In mid-February, Nalatu, who is based in Brisbane, will be in Fiji and all athletes that competed in the Academy Tournament will regroup for a fitness test and skills training with her.