Ameliaranne Ekenasio will lead the Silver Ferns into their next era, with the goal shoot named as the team's captain this morning.

The 29-year-old, who made her debut for the national team in 2014, has been a constant feature in the Silver Ferns squad over the past few years, but admits the captaincy selection came as a suprise.

"It really was a slap in the face," Ekenasio told Radio Sport. "I didn't know at all, I really wasn't expecting it, I hadn't been in this position at all yet so, to be honest, it took me quite a while to process and come to terms with. It's been a big shock."

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The captaincy selection was a team process, with the players and members of the management team all having their say before selecting their leader.

Ekenasio takes the reins after a stellar year in the black dress which saw her named Silver Ferns Player of the Year after playing a significant role in the team's World Cup win and their Constellation Cup campaign.

The Australian-born shooter will be joined by vice captains Jane Watson and Gina Crampton in a new-look leadership group for the Netball Nations Cup which starts against England in Nottingham on Monday.

"Leadership for me, I believe is stepping 100 per cent into your own authenticity. I really care so much about the girls and think we have a good thing going here so when they voted me in I couldn't deny it or anything.

"I've got Jane and Gina around me, and we'll probably share the load on a lot of things as well and we'll just be learning on the way."

Dame Noeline Taurua said they had taken an in-depth approach in appointing a captain that took into consideration performance, relationships, communication styles, and personal characteristics.

"I was very pleased that the process highlighted many players in the group that are leaders in different areas and this is important with both Laura (Langman) and Katrina (Rore) taking their sabbatical breaks," she said.

"We have all watched Ameliaranne take her game to a new level last year showing a maturity in her game, consistency in performance and ability to shoulder the pressures on and off court.


"On top of that she is such a lovely person who genuinely wants the best for others and ultimately for the team to be the best.

"As a result of our process she has the respect of her peers and management. Respect and trust is crucial in leadership as we continue to pursue to live and breathe the values of the Silver Fern."