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Georgina Salter Memorial adds fire

May 24, 2024

Legendary netball coach Georgina Salter was never one to sugar coat things.

In fact, Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel head coach Reinga Bloxham reckons her late mentor would have delivered a pretty blunt pre-game team talk heading into Sunday’s clash against the MG Mystics in Dunedin.

“She would say ‘go out there and deal to them. This is our home court. You need to play smarter than them, be brave’,” Bloxham said.

The ANZ Premiership round seven match doubles as the Georgina Salter Memorial in her honour.

“It always adds more fire to our belly playing for this trophy. We rise to the occasion as we remember all the ways Georgie contributed to a lot of our netball careers. There are players in our Steel team now who were coached by her at school so it is a special connection and gives them a sense of pride,” she said.

“It is fitting to be playing in Dunedin for this one as this is where Georgie did a lot of her coaching so there are strong ties and it is also close to her home of Oamaru.

“We have trained here this week so get to connect with both the netball and wider community while we prepare for the game. It's refreshing and allows us to spend some time together off the court too. We're looking forward to playing in front of our Dunedin crowd.”

With just one win on the board in 2024, Bloxham continues to seek a complete performance from her team.

“I want to see focus and a full 60-minute effort. We are definitely searching for more consistency.”

However, experienced vice-captain Shannon Saunders is the latest player to be ruled out as the team’s injury woes continue.

“I am feeling the pressure with Shannon out and finding a replacement isn't easy as she is a huge loss that is almost irreplaceable. But it's about providing an opportunity for someone new to step into this space and give it a crack,” Bloxham said.

“We are without Jen (O’Connell) and Ivari (Christie) is also carrying a knee injury so the challenges keep coming. I am grateful that the girls accept the challenge and go out there to do their best each game with everything that is going on. They never back down.”

Sunday’s game starts at 4pm.


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