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Queenstown preseason a chance for Steel players to shine - March 10, 2021

Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel coach Reinga Bloxham expects competition to be fierce amongst her players during their looming preseason encounters.

Steel is set to travel to Timaru this weekend for a tournament against the Good Oil Tactix before heading to Queenstown next week to take on ANZ Premiership champions Te Wananga o Raukawa Pulse.

Bloxham was eager to get some intense game play ticked off for the squad, which features five new recruits.

“I’m really looking forward to having the players on court as a team. All bibs are still up for grabs as we build towards the season so it comes down to who is going to impress and really stick their hand up for selection,” she said.

“Preseason games are a crucial part of the whole equation and an important opportunity to try different combinations and give all players the chance to shine.

“Our new team members each bring something unique so it’s exciting for us to see that develop.”

Preseason games were not without challenges.

“It certainly is a bit of a chess game where you’re trying new things but also having to deal with players being restricted for a variety of reasons. It’s a fine balancing act between managing workload and giving them a chance to impress in a game scenario and earn that bib.”

While next Thursday’s game against Pulse was sold out, the Central Otago public would have the chance to connect with the Steel players during the Skyline Festival of Netball.

Along with a variety of school visits scheduled throughout the region, players will also host Skills and Drills sessions in Wanaka (Year 7-13) on Friday, 19 March, and Alexandra (Year 1-4, 5-8 and 9-13) on Saturday, 20 March. Registration for the free sessions is on

Caption 1: Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel player are training hard to prepare for the season ahead. Photo: Laura Overton

Caption 2: Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel training partner Georgia White catches the ball mid-flight during a training session. Photo: Laura Overton.


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