When Michaela Sokolich-Beatson was told she was selected for the Silver Ferns Commonwealth Games team, she thought she was being "pranked".

Sokolich-Beatson, who is the only uncapped Silver Fern in the team, started playing netball when she was 11-years-old, but never really dreamt about playing for New Zealand.

Read more: Netball: Michaela Sokolich-Beatson ready for step up for Silver Ferns

A product of Whangaparoa College, Sokolich-Beatson had her first big break when she was selected to play for the SKYCITY Mystics in 2016.


Following a breakthrough year, Sokolich-Beatson was selected to play and captain the New Zealand U21 squad claiming victory at the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana.

Sokolich-Beatson will make her Silver Fern debut in front of her home crowd at the North Shore Events Centre this week, when New Zealand take on Malawi, Fiji and Jamaica in the Taini Jamison Series.

And living up to her "tireless and effective" reputation, Sokolich-Beatson said she was more than ready to make her mark.

"I'm feeling comfortable and confident to play a game of netball for the Silver Ferns, I'm really excited," Sokolich-Beatson said.

Michaela Sokolich-Beatson will play her third season for the SKYCITY Mystics this year. Photo / Getty
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson will play her third season for the SKYCITY Mystics this year. Photo / Getty

"Obviously I have expectations of myself and other people have expectations of me, but in terms of the pressure I don't feel it yet."

"For me, netball is my passion and my job and I've trained a long time for this. It's about remembering that I do know what I'm doing, and thinking those thoughts when I go out on court."

Read more: Netball: Ferns go back to the basics

Sokolich-Beatson said her transition into the Silver Ferns squad had been a "very welcoming" experience, despite her early nerves.

Upon arrival of her first training camp in Wellington, Sokolich-Beatson said she was startled when told she would be room-mates with Silver Ferns captain Katrina Grant.

However, Sokolich-Beatson praised her captain's leadership and guidance, describing Grant as an "awesome person".

"It was scary because she's the captain and I didn't know her really at all," said Sokolich-Beatson.

"It was nice to have her there because she guided me through the camp and made me feel really comfortable in the team."

"I have a lot of questions all the time, and she was just so patient with me, and was really good at answering any questions I had."

Grant praised Sokolich-Beatson's unit skills and "netball brain" and said the young defender was a great contribution to the team both on and off the court.

"She's such a great addition … She's one of those players who is very instinctive," Grant said.

"She reads the game well and she has an awesome netball brain … She brings something different, she's really good at attacking through the ball and she reads the game really well, and she comes out of absolutely no were to pick up an intercept."

Sokolich-Beatson, who will play positions wing defense and goal defense for the Silver Ferns, said she planned to approach her debut with a "can-do attitude".

"Whenever they need me, I'm just going to be there an give it my all," she said.

"I want to be the best I can be as an individual, so every day I want to be better than I was yesterday."

"I just want to do the best I can and go in with a winning attitude, because at the end of the day we are there to win and I'll do whatever it takes to help the team get to that point."