Steel’s attacking trio back for 2017 - August 12, 2016
Steel’s dynamic attacking trio of Shannon Francois, Gina Crampton and Te Paea Selby-Rickit will be back in action for the southern franchise next season.
Francois, Crampton and Selby-Rickit join captain Wendy Frew and Jamaican sharpshooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid as confirmed on the Ascot Park Hotel-sponsored Steel’s playing roster for New Zealand’s new ANZ Elite League.
“There was no place I’d rather be,” Crampton said.
“Now looking back on it, we had an amazing season with a great group of people but it still feels like we have unfinished business. We did so well to get to where we did but it would be nice to go the whole way. I’m excited to see what we can do in this new competition.”
A reflection of Steel’s prowess to remain unbeaten and claim the ANZ Championship minor premiership, all three will attend Silver Fern trials in Auckland next week, along with team-mates Storm Purvis, Jane Watson and Jamie Hume.
Crampton blitzed the statistics for centre pass receives in the trans-Tasman competition and heads into trials in solid form.
“I’m definitely satisfied with my performances so far. The result as a team showed everyone was doing their job well and that’s the vibe that we had the whole season so hopefully we will all transition that into trials,” she said.
“It will be a different kind of netball and that’s always exciting as you have to adjust to having new players around you and can’t get complacent.”
“It’s quite hard to switch so quickly from the franchise campaign to the national environment but it will be an exciting and tough few days,” she said.
“You’ve just spent the season playing against these girls where they’re the enemy but now you have to change your mind-set and build effective combinations with them. It’s a great challenge to see what can evolve from it.”
Selby-Rickit will embark on her sixth campaign with Steel since her rookie season in 2011 and has successfully made the transition from goal shoot to goal attack.
“Those first couple of years I was so young and just there soaking up the knowledge without all the pressure to perform. Now it’s the real deal,” she said.
“With another year under my belt at goal attack, I’m definitely feeling more confident there now and really enjoying it.”
Steel chief executive Lana Winders said she was thrilled to retain “one of the leading attacking trios in the country”.
“What’s most satisfying about this trio is that they have never played for another franchise. They began their careers in Dunedin and have thrived in our high performance environment originally driven by Janine Southby.
“Last year, under the tutelage of Noeline Taurua, this combination completely and utterly lost their ability to be intimidated by Australian teams and we’re really looking forward to watching them continue to grow and build on that.
“We’re excited for the Ferns to have these three players take everything they’ve achieved this season into next week’s trials.”