Former Australia Diamonds netballer Bianca Chatfield says the players are fully behind Kathryn Harby-Williams, as the experienced administrator faces a battle to hold on to her position on the governing body's board.
"We think she is definitely one of the best people for the job," Chatfield said yesterday after reports Harby-Williams' position was under threat.
Two member associations - Queensland and New South Wales - seek to oust her to install their own candidates in response to a slipping grasp on power. Her position will be decided at today's annual general meeting in Canberra.
"She is someone who is very honest and opinionated and will stand up not only for the players but the good of the sport," the Australian Netball Players' Association member added.
"I think that has got people's noses out of joint. But the players are definitely backing Kathryn Harby-Williams."
It's understood member organisations are reluctant to embrace new Super Netball teams not aligned to state associations, rather football clubs, particularly due to recruitment issues. Chatfield said the addition of three new teams and the lack of control Netball NSW and Queensland have over them is a major issue.
"Because the players are not involved at board level, we don't know what is going on," she said. "We have just heard over the last 18 months that there has been all this uneasiness at the top around bringing in three new clubs and two new clubs which are independent from the rest."
The ANPA is also threatening strike action if a dramatic power play for state organisations succeeds today but Chatfield says it doesn't necessarily mean a boycott of upcoming matches.
"When we say strike, it doesn't mean the girls will completely miss a game. There are many other things that can be done at each game to prove the point that the girls are passionate about it," she said.
The former Australian Diamonds vice-captain said their next move will hinge on the board re-elections, with a phone conference between players and the ANPA to be held immediately afterwards.
Netball Australia said in a statement the threat of industrial action was "unfortunate".
"The sport is in total agreement around the need to move forward collectively, with a focus on the most critical issues impacting netball, including fully leveraging the recent commercial and broadcast inroads that have been made with the inception of Suncorp Super Netball," the statement said.