Southern Steel netball goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit excited to reach milestone against Mainland Tactix - April 18, 2017
by SCOTT DONALDSON
Silver Ferns netball goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit is thrilled to be taking the court for her 50th match for the Southern Steel on Wednesday night against the Mainland Tactix.
The milestone snuck up on the 25-year-old who was only told late last week.
She has played 46 ANZ Championship games from 2011 to 2016, along with three matches so far in the new-look ANZ Premiership.
"I was quite surprised, it is exciting, I have been in the team quite a while now, so to finally reach that milestone is quite cool," she said.
"It is cool to be able do it for the same franchise as well, that is something that I am pretty happy about, I have really enjoyed playing for this team."
The unbeaten Southern Steel are reaping the rewards of boasting an experienced lineup in 2017, with the core of the group spending several seasons together for the franchise.
"We have been working together to build something for years," she said.
"We started off as a young team and quite inexperienced, to be able to stick together and keep building year after year has been really good for us and I think we are starting to see the benefits of it in the last year or so, it is really cool, it has been a long time building for us and it has been part of a big overall plan, it is really exciting."
The 1.88m goal attack has formed a strong attacking combination with Jamaican international Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, with the Steel averaging more than 70 goals per game this season.
"We have been playing with a lot of variation and our middies have been working very hard to get the ball to the circle edge, because that is where we are the most dangerous," she said.
"When we can get the ball to the circle edge, it is hard for defenders to stop us, we have been working on a lot of that and working on things at training to change things up and vary it, against the Magic that was really good, especially because they have some tall defenders so we needed to be able to do that and I think we did that really well."
The goal attack who started out as a goal shoot, has been raising her game after benefiting from international experience with the Silver Ferns, after debuting in 2016 and is pleased to be in the mix heading into an eventful period.
"It is always a dream when you play netball especially at this level, to make the Silver Ferns, the next couple of years are particularly exciting with the Silver Ferns, with the Commonwealth Games next year and then the World Cup the year after, so it is a good time to be pushing for a spot in that team," she said.
According to Selby-Rickit, the Steel are determined to avoid stumbling in Wednesday's banana skin game against the Mainland Tactix and won't be taking their bottom-of-the-table opposition lightly.
"I think we have started well this season with the three games, but I still think that we have got more to offer and more to show and we have been working really hard at training, so hopefully against the Tactix we can put that out on court," she said.
"Every year you are trying to get better and better every game, that is something we have worked on this year is our variety to change things up from a long game to a short game, change the speed of the game and things like that, we want to challenge ourselves and push each other."
Wednesday's match between the Steel and Tactix starts at 7:40pm in Christchurch.