Super Club comes at perfect time for Collingwood
Collingwood Magpies coach Rob Wright couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the Super Club tournament in Nelson from December 8-13.
Into its third edition, the staging of this year’s Super Club was delayed because of the Netball World Cup in July, and as a result will feature all six ANZ Premiership teams, as well as the Magpies (Melbourne) and Wasps (England), who are both attending for the first time.
This year, Super Club offers all teams the perfect launching pad heading into their respective 2020 seasons.
“This has come at a really good time,” Wright said.
“We’ve only been together for a couple of weeks and this is a really good opportunity to get away as a group. The opportunity to get away for a week and to play will be really good for the team off-court. We have got some new faces and it’s just great to be able to start building that off-court stuff which is really critical.”
Collingwood will be without the influential Browne sisters (Kelsey and Madi) who are recovering from knee injuries and defender Jodi-Ann Ward who is sitting university exams in Jamaica but still offer a talented line-up, including highly respected defender Geva Mentor, livewire midcourter Ashleigh Brazill, rising young 1.95m Jamaican shooter Shimona Nelson and crafty play-making shooter Natalie Medhurst.
“This is a good opportunity to give some our youngsters the opportunity to see what they can do against the best in the world,” Wright said.
“To be able to play against world-class opposition in pre-season just gives us a lot of information around where we’re at and what some of these kids can do. We need to challenge and test them and this is the perfect place to do it. The timing of this tournament is fantastic and will really help build us as a team."
Collingwood were founded in 2016 in time to debut for Australia’s new Super Netball competition in 2017, Wright now intent on pushing for excellence in 2020 after a fourth-place finish this year.
Playing against the New Zealand and England style will add to their arsenal and overall player development. With a trio of core players missing, Wright is mindful of expectation but is nonetheless pushing for a place in the top four.
“If we had our full team, the result side might be a little bit more important,” he said.
“In my ideal world, I’d like to get into the top two in our pool (to make semi-finals) but our big goal is around building the off-court stuff, blending and bonding together while we’re away, really challenging our players to see what they’ve got and to put out some performances.
“At the end of the day, we need to challenge ourselves and see where we’re at and that’s exciting. The beauty of the six New Zealand teams is the spread of Silver Ferns which means there’s huge talent in every team, so it’s a great opportunity to see how we’re tracking and what we’ve got."
Twenty games (12-minute quarters) will be played over five days culminating in the Grand Final on December 13.
For more information and the full draw go to www.netballsuperclub.com