The Cook Islands are in the final stretch of preparations for July’s Netball World Youth Cup, focussing on strength and fitness.

The Under-21 side had two camps resulting in a squad of 12 players being named for the event.

Daimzel Rongokea,15, is the only locally based player in the team with the remainder playing in Australia and New Zealand.

Coach John Glassie said the squad was a classic mix of youth and experience.

“It’s a younger, younger-based team,” Glassie said.

“We do have a couple of the players in there who were in the open team and have played in the international team so there is a little bit of experience in there with the young players.

“I think their strength is their passion.

Glassie conceded that players living in three different countries created challenges, with time together at a premium.

“They do a home-based programme and it’s predominantly working on their fitness and their strength to be able to handle such a long tournament,” he said.

“The girls are already playing netball in their own countries so if we can get them up to their physical standard where we can compete for a whole 15 minute quarter and then work through the game then certainly they will be ready for it.”

Glassie said the Cooks won’t be going to the tournament to just “make up the numbers” and said grabbing a few wins is definitely a goal.

The Cook Islands will play in Pool C alongside Jamaica, Malaysia, Uganda and hosts Botswana.