On the morning of May 23, the day the Silver Ferns were set to name their 12-strong squad to contest the 2019 Netball World Cup, Rotorua's Sam Sinclair received a heartbreaking phone call from coach Noeline Taurua. Her name was not going to be one of the 12 on the list despite having been an integral part of the side for much of the last two years, including at the Commonwealth Games last year. She spoke to Rotorua Daily Post sports reporter David Beck about the disappointment she felt at the time and her desire to bounce back.
When Sam Sinclair found out she would not be playing at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool she was "absolutely gutted".
"It's the pinnacle event in netball and it only happens every four years so everyone is vying for a spot in that team ... I wanted to be on that plane over there," Sinclair said.
"I suppose you get over it fast enough and there's always something else to look forward to. You just have to be positive because someone has to miss out and you can't go around being sad for weeks. So, I got over it pretty fast, definitely still disappointed but looking forward to the next thing."
Last week, Sinclair had the opportunity to go up against those who had the made the World Cup squad, as well as the New Zealand Men's team and Fiji, in the Cadbury Netball Series in Auckland.
She said the series was a chance for the All Stars players to show that any of them could slot into that Silver Ferns team if required and fit in well.
"Definitely that fire burns within when you miss out on a team and you're just hungry to go out there and improve and take on board the feedback they give - show that you're willing and ready to work on that and prove yourself the next time a selection comes around.
It's the pinnacle event in netball and it only happens every four years so everyone is vying for a spot in that team ... I wanted to be on that plane over there.
"I guess for me, they wanted to see more consistency in my attacking play and that's always been a work on. I feel like I'm more of a defensive player and I do really enjoy that defensive side of centre and wing defence.
"It's always going to be a work on for me, using that ball speed to get the ball down and feeding nicely into the shooters. I'm glad we have a couple of the same shooters next year for the Magic so I can fine tune that and get it ticking along nicely."
She loved every minute with the All Stars team and said it was nice to go into the series without so much pressure.
Rotorua's Mikaere coming home to play for Magic
"It was so much fun, the thing I enjoyed most about it was that we were a team of girls who obviously missed out on the World Cup team but went into this series with no pressure and the ability to put ourselves out there and play some really cool, fun, good netball.
"Our job was to be a good opposition to the Ferns, which I think we were, but I just really enjoyed playing with a different group of girls and playing care-free netball."
Sinclair said she would be throwing her full support behind the Silver Ferns at the World Cup.
"When we were all just a squad at the end of last year and there were no teams announced, we all said that whoever makes the team, we'll be backing them.
"It'd be awesome for the girls who are going and netball in general in New Zealand to see a really good result at the World Cup."
She will now take some time off, saying the silver lining of missing the World Cup squad was being able to spend some much-needed quality time with loved ones.
"I'm looking forward to spending some time with them, they don't get a lot of attention during the netball season so that will be nice. Whenever we can get a break we definitely take it and catch up on stuff we wouldn't otherwise be able to do.
"There's always a positive and something else to look forward to."