30 Jul 2008

Silver Ferns coach confident newcomers will strengthen midcourt

7:04 pm on 30 July 2008

The New Zealand netball coach Ruth Aitken says there's a good mix of experience and new blood in the 16 players named for the Tests against Australia and England in September and October.

The Silver Ferns are rebuilding following a number of players either retiring or being unavailable.

Aitken says six of the squad were in the winning World Youth Cup team of 2005 and there's plenty of opportunity to take over from two key former players Adine Wilson and Temepara George missing from the midcourt.

The newcomers are the shooter Anna Thompson of the Tactix and the midcourter Erika Burgess of the Steel, both from New Zealand A, and the Southern Steel mid-courter Wendy Telfer and Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic defender Jodi Tod.

Aitken says they're very lucky to still have the experience of Julie Seymour and Laura Langman, who, though not old in years is very experienced.

With Wilson not available after having a baby the new captain will be named in a month, following a squad camp.