Team connection key to Southern Steel netball success - June 22, 2017
by SCOTT DONALDSON
Southern Steel wing attack Gina Crampton believes the team connection has a lot to do with the success of the franchise.
The 25-year-old, who has been a part of the Steel midcourt since joining as a replacement player in 2012, played her 50th game for the franchise in Monday night's 64-51 win over the Pulse, although she was unaware of the milestone until game day.
"It was pretty exciting, it is cool that it is all for the same franchise," she said.
The unbeaten Steel have had a largely settled squad in recent seasons, which has helped with their combinations.
"We have got a really good group of people and that is what keeps me coming back and playing with people who are now my really good mates and we are playing pretty good netball, so that is always nice," she said.
"I think having connections with people is pretty vital to putting out good performances and we have been together a couple of years now."
Crampton, who finished Monday night's win over the Pulse with 34 centre pass receipts, 28 feeds into the circle and 14 goal assists admits that there have been some adjustments required in recent weeks, after four Steel players were injured in a van crash.
"Everyone offers something different in our team, it is cool that everyone that has gone in there really stepped up and played well, it is a good aspect of my game to feed them no matter what they are offering me, so it is good for everyone and good for our skills," she said.
"If there's a tall defender in there with Jhaniele [Fowler-Reid], it is really about where you put the ball, whether it is in front of her or right on top sort of thing, so it is good to keep your brain engaged in that respect."
The league's top centre pass receiver is taking Wednesday's ANZ Premiership final at ILT Stadium Southland in her stride.
"We have got a team training this weekend here in Invercargill a few days out from the game and we will be doing all the same training and things like that," she said.
"Obviously it is a huge game, but we will be keeping the same mentality that we have had all year for that one."