"Excitement" and "identity" were the buzzwords at today's launch of the new domestic netball competition.
The coaches and captains of all six franchises gathered in Wellington to usher in the new competition and rather than bemoaning the split with Australia after nine seasons of the trans-Tasman championship, they were united in their view that a return to domestic rivalries would help the sport in this country.
"I feel like we kind of lost our mojo a bit, playing against the Aussies," said Mystics co-captain and Silver Ferns shooter Maria Tutaia.
"While the (previous competition) was going on we were trying to play like them and be like them. I feel like we've lost out style of play and what we used to be so good at. I'm very happy that we've come back to true-blue New Zealand and a style of play we can play week-in and week-out."
Her thoughts were echoed by fellow Silver Fern Katrina Grant, who will again lead the Central Pulse.
"I think it'll be good for us to get back our identity of New Zealand play and not trying to be (like) the Aussies or English," she said.
"I'm quite excited to just have New Zealand teams. Kiwis love watching kiwis play each other, they love the rivalry in Super Rugby and they do with netball as well. It'll be fun."
Casey Kopua will return from a 16-month break from netball to captain the Magic.
"It does feel like you have ownership of it and it's unique and something special to be a part of," she said. "I think the netball will still be very competitive."
There was also hope the split from Australia will help the Silver Ferns regain parity with the Diamonds.
"There was a time when the Australians couldn't beat us," said Tutaia.
"No disrespect to the Aussies but when I first played for the Silver Ferns we were beating them on a weekly basis and that was purely because of our aerial (play), our flair and the talent that we had."
"The athletes that we have in this country - Aussie don't have that. They have to train it week-in and week-out, but we were born with it. I'm stoked that we've gone domestic," she said.
Joining the five existing franchises are the new kids on the block, the Northern Stars. Coached by Australian Julie Hoornweg and featuring Silver Ferns Leana de Bruin and Kayla Cullen, they have created an immediate cross-town rivalry with the Mystics.
The new competition starts on Sunday March 26 with a triple-header in Hamilton, the first of three scheduled "Super Sunday" rounds. Three full rounds of competition will be played before two finals featuring the top three teams. Games are scheduled for Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.