Alexander Park Tennis Club trio comprises entire State under-14s team for nationals

Alexander Park Tennis Club trio comprises entire State under-14s team for nationals

MENORA’s Alexander Park Tennis Club has produced a bumper crop of young stars, with no fewer than three players from the club making up the entire State team to compete in the national championships.

Jerome Iaconi, Reuben Giorgio and Will Shepherd will be flying out to compete in the 14s Australian Team Championships in Melbourne starting on 9 December.

Remarkably, Jerome’s younger sister Shanelle is also competing in the national championships.

Shanelle is ranked in the top 10 tennis players nationally in her age group and will be competing in Melbourne in the girls 12s team.

Jerome is ranked number one in WA and 11th nationally, and Shanelle is ranked second in the State and eighth in Australia for their respective age groups.

Ian Ketteringham, also from Alexander Park Tennis Club, coaches the young champions.

Mr Kettering said the three boys – who are ranked one, two and three in WA – making up the entire state team is “an outstanding achievement”.

“It’s not every day as a coach you get to take all three team members from your own club to represent WA in the boys 14s Nationals team event,” he says.

“They’re only 14, but they compete in the 16s state grade for the club… For 18 months or so, they’ve played together as a team at Alexander Park, and they’ve been successful in every Division 1 age group they’ve entered.”

The trio has won the winter and summer pennants for Boys 14s Division 1, as well as the winter and summer pennants for Boys 16s Division.

“And now they’re doing State grade, as a team. It’s been pretty impressive. It’s never been done before,” Mr Kettering said.

In 2016, the Iaconis have played several interstate tournaments including the Bruce Cup in Albury, the Australian Clay Court Nationals in Canberra, and the Australian Grass Court Championships in Adelaide.

Jerome won all four WA State Gold tournaments this year, and Shanelle was recently offered a position in Tennis Australia’s National Academy.

The boys and Shanelle are not the only ones on winning streak.

At the recent Tennis West awards, Mr Kettering won the Talent Development Coach of the year title, and in 2015 Alexander Park Tennis Club won the WA and national awards for Club of the Year.