Breakaway netball team to contest Premier 1

By Jared Smith

They're good, they're whanau, and they're hungry.

The 2013 netball season could have an entirely new dynamic in the form of a team raised from scratch being given the chance to trial for Premier 1.

And for East Club SportsEdge, it's the playoffs or bust.

Manager Tina Priddle said the idea came about at the end of last year when her daughter and three other players from the champion Kaierau A1 team were not happy with their spots in that lineup.

Wanting to be more self-reliant, the four breakaway girls have combined with six others mostly cousins and nieces from Marist, Wanganui High School, Cullinane College, Wellington and even one from retirement.

Cleared to trial for Premier 1 two weeks ago by Netball Wanganui, it could make for some interesting play if SportsEdge get through as expected and face up against Kaierau down the line.

"A lot of people weren't happy because they think it's diluting the talent pool," said Priddle.

"We don't see it that way. We've just made a team for these girls that would have got lost in the system.

"It's just about netball to us."

Priddle said as they linked up with the East Club, who have three other teams, there is enough depth to cover injury.

She said they would like to create a playing style that encourages "natural flow" through the court, with flair.

"Everyone that's involved, they're not just playing netball [for fun].

"With this group of girls there's a determination to win."

The squad will play a warm-up match against a men's team on April 7, ahead of the Fast Five tournament on April 13.

Netball Wanganui's development officer Lisa Murphy said the team has been given the go-ahead to trial for Premier 1 when grading is held in the weeks leading up to the start of competition on May 20.

"This year's the first year we've done it when you have to win Premier 2, or Secondary School's Premier, or be part of it the year before to be invited to trial for Premier 1."

SportsEdge is also one of two teams who were granted a "wild card", Murphy said. The other is a combined Taihape/Utiku team.

The East Club SportsEdge 2013 squad is: Emily Huwyler, Karaihi Peina, Deshannon Matthews, Taniele McDonnell, Aneka Erueti, Amiria Paranihi, Terehia Gardiner, Jevada Kinnaird, Julie Rowan, Waimanawa Potaka-Osborne Whanarere. Coach: Trish Anstis. Manager: Tina Priddle. Physio: Deb McEwen.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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