3 Aug 2017

Ferns won't adopt Steel style

10:36 am on 3 August 2017

The Silver Ferns have no intention of bringing the all-conquering Southern Steel's netball style to the international stage, despite a flawless club campaign in which the Southerners won all before them.

Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby

Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby Photo: Photosport

The Steel went unbeaten for the entire ANZ Premiership season in 2017, before downing Central Pulse 69-53 in their June grand final.

They then went on to secure the Super Club netball title in Nelson.

Much of the Reinga Bloxham-coached side's success was down to the talent of Jamaican goal machine Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who was able to use her 198cm frame and shooting-circle precision to bag a league-high 790 goals.

She'll join Australian club West Coast Fever next year.

Yet without a similarly tall offensive player in her Kiwi ranks, Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby admitted the Ferns couldn't imitate the Steel's style.

Instead, her phalanx of Steel players - including Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Jane Watson and midcourters Shannon Francois and Gina Crampton - would need to bring the same winning mentality to the black dress.

"Look, they have personnel we don't have in our programme, so that certainly won't be replicated. But there's a lot of what some of the players bring out of the Steel that will be really useful," Southby, a former Steel coach, said.

The 35-cap Francois - all but certain of a black dress after an exceptional campaign in the Steel midcourt - echoed her coach's thoughts, saying she and her club teammates entered this week's Silver Ferns trials high on confidence.

The fluency of their combinations would only be useful.

"When we play together, it's definitely very comfortable - hopefully we can just bring that intensity and winning culture back into the Ferns, that's probably something we've struggled with a wee bit lately," Francois said.

"There's lots of players who have really stepped up in the Premiership so it's going to be quite interesting, the selections that'll be made."

Southby will announce her 12-person Quad Series and three-Test Taini Jamison Trophy series squad next Monday, with trials to finish on Friday.