Southern Steel shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid looking forward to new format challenges after busy off-season helping Jamaica claim netball series win - March 22, 2017
by SCOTT DONALDSON
Southern Steel shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid is looking forward to the challenge of the new national netball league.
The ANZ Premiership will see six New Zealand teams play each other three times in a revamped competition.
The introduction of extra time, unlimited substitutions and Super Sundays where all six teams play at one venue, along with double headers will provide plenty of changes for the 1.98 metre goal shoot.
"I reckon it will be really good, even though the Australians won't be our opposition anymore it will still be a really good competition because the NZ league has really good teams and it is going to be a very good season coming up," she said.
"New is always good, it is just for you to adapt, make it work and not complain and do your best."
ILT Stadium Southland will host the Super Sunday on April 30, which means the Steel will host the Northern Mystics at 4pm as one of three games on the Sunday, before backing up against the Central Pulse on the Monday as one of two rounds with a short turnaround between games for the 2016 ANZ Championships minor premiers.
"It does make it quite exciting, it is going to be really exciting for the body because for the teams that play at home in the Super Sundays play the next day so it is going to be really full on, so I am looking forward to it, so it is going to keep us on our toes and keep us wanting to do more," she said.
The Southern Steel enter the new netball league with the most settled squad from the 2016 season, with nine out of the squad of 10 players returning to action.
The Steel under new coach Reinga Bloxham have impressed with an unbeaten run during pre-season, which has been used to give players plenty of court time.
"It has been a really good hit out over the past month or two months so the pre-season games we had were really good for getting us to gel again and getting to know the new players that came in, they have slotted in really well it was all easy, she said.
The top shooter from the 2016 ANZ Championship returned to Jamaica in the off-season and has been juggling international netball with study and family commitments.
Fowler-Reid, who is studying towards a bachelor's degree in guidance and counselling, also helped Jamaica to their first away netball series win over England with a final test 64-57 victory in the Coventry decider.
"Going back to school as soon as I left here was pretty hectic and then I had training for internationals as well," she said.
"It was the first time ever we had beaten them at home, so that was really good and then just some training and right back into it here.".
The series win came on the back of Fowler-Reid's "Player of the series" performance and was all the more sweeter for Jamaica after they lost 3-0 to the Silver Ferns in New Zealand and finished fifth out of six teams in the Fast5 World Series in Australia, without star shooters Fowler-Reid and Romelda Aiken last year.
"It was really good to finish the year on a good high beating England," she said.
The Southern Steel start their 2017 campaign against the new Northern Stars team at 2pm on Sunday as part of Super Sunday.
At a glance
What: Southern Steel vs Northern Stars
When: Sunday 2pm