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Steel forge new drive ahead of revised season - May 28, 2020

The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel have regrouped with an all-new hunger as they prepare for the challenge of this season’s revised ANZ Premiership.

Players have been able to come back together and train as a team following the move into COVID-19 Alert Level 2, with the revised 2020 ANZ Premiership season set to resume on 19 June.

It’s been an easy transition back to training with the fantastic team at the ILT Stadium Southland having created a dedicated bubble for the Steel with a team room and exclusive use of the main court throughout the season to ensure strict control of health and safety.

Head coach Reinga Bloxham said it’s been fantastic to have everyone back together after being isolated for so long.

“It’s really great to be back in training together, we have had some very excited players to be back with the group and just to see each other again,” she said.

“The girls are looking really good and it’s clear they have been working hard individually during lockdown, so they’ve bounced back really well and are raring to go.”

It will be a season like no other for the Steel, with all matches played at Auckland Netball Centre to ensure all Ministry of Health and Worksafe NZ requirements are met within a controlled environment.

The Steel face a demanding travel schedule with a commute to and from Auckland every week via chartered flights to allow for safe travel.

“The travel schedule will certainly be a huge test for our group, but we are all up for the challenge and want to make it happen,” Bloxham said.

“We will be looking to plan our time together really well and we are focussed on staying healthy and keeping our bubble as safe as we can based around some tight rules and processes.

” Steel co-captain Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit was impressed with the ability of her side to hit the ground running coming back into team training.

“I hate training by myself so it’s been amazing having everyone back, laughing together and catching up first and foremost.”

“This feels like our third pre-season, but having that extra time as a group has been good and we will be ready for game one. All our players have been working hard during lockdown, so I expect the fitness levels to be pretty high across the board.”

The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel get back into action on court against The Good Oil Tactix at 7pm on Saturday 20 June, with live coverage on Sky Sport 3.


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