Southern Steel captain Wendy Frew set for 150th national netball league match - April 25, 2017
by SCOTT DONALDSON
Southern Steel captain Wendy Frew is about to reach another milestone in her netball career on Wednesday night against the Northern Stars in Auckland.
The 32-year-old wing defence will play her 150th combined national league match as the Steel take on the Stars for the second time this season in the round five fixture.
Frew played 39 matches in the former New Zealand national league from 2002 to 2007, before taking the court for 106 matches in the trans-Tasman league from 2008-11 and 2013-16, while she has played in all four matches for the Steel in the ANZ Premiership this season.
"It is a pretty exciting milestone for me, it all started for me when I was 17 and I have been going ever since," she said.
"So I am really proud of the achievement and also stoked to be involved with the franchise for such a long time."
While the former Silver Fern struggles to recall a single match that stands out, being part of the Southern Sting era is something she remembers fondly.
The Invercargill-based Sting claimed seven out of 10 national netball league titles between 1998 and 2007.
"I think winning titles is always a highlight and we had some really good success when I was in the Sting team," she said.
"It was nice to win some titles there and also changing to the trans-Tasman league and having those Australian battles, that has certainly been fun too."
Frew feels honoured every time she takes the court in Southern Steel colours.
"It is something I am really grateful for, that I have been able to do for so long and obviously have a good relationship with the franchise, which allows me to keep coming back," she said.
The netball community has played a huge part in Frew's life, where she has developed many friendships over the years.
"Along the way I have just made so many great mates, mates for life really, a lot of my mates are netball friends and you spend a lot of time with them over the years and on tour, it has been such a great experience that I will cherish forever," she said.
The unbeaten Steel have recorded four wins this season, including a whopping 90-41 victory against the Tactix in round four, but according to Frew, they will be wary of the new Stars combination featuring a number of Silver Ferns.
"We know they have got so much potential, we played them about a month ago now, we have been watching them and they are certainly improving each week, so I think they will come out firing and try to take us down," she said.
"But for us it is a chance to be better at what we are doing, be better than the week before and really challenge ourselves to improve on the errors to ensure we are in good shape heading into our double header."
The Steel have had relatively well spaced fixtures so far this season, but have been preparing for the next chapter of their campaign, which sees them play four matches in 11 days.
They play a double header starting with a Super Sunday fixture against the Mystics, followed by a Monday night clash with the Pulse, with both games in Invercargill.
"We have got a huge schedule coming up, so it is going to be challenging for us but we have been preparing for this since pre-season in terms of our training schedules and stuff like that," she said.
"It is about individually stepping up and eating the right food, fuelling your body with the right stuff, recovering well, doing those extras to make sure we can back it up and put in good performances over the 11 days."
At A Glance
What: Southern Steel vs Northern Stars.
Where: Vodafone Events Centre, Auckland.
When: Wednesday 7:40pm.