Silver Ferns To Heed Copper Box Lessons
The Silver Ferns are ready to step it up a notch as they prepare for the Commonwealth Games in April. They have found the perfect preparation partner in the match against England at the Copper Box in London on January 20th. South Africa and Australia are also on the list of A-gamers to beat in Netball’s Quad Series competition.
The series will offer the perfect window of opportunity for Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby to see exactly how her squad performs under immense pressure. The tournament will also aid her in deciding on the final inclusions into the squad for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
The Silver Ferns won the Southern Hemisphere leg of last year’s Quad Series by beating South Africa 63-56 and Australia 57-47. They ended up losing to England in a nail-biting 49-45 affair. The Copper Box match forms part of the Northern Hemisphere leg of the competition.
Stepping It Up A Notch
The Silver Ferns have been under intense scrutiny following their less than ideal performance at last year’s Constellation Cup, including that of former coach Yvonne Willering. Willering has sternly criticised what she referred to as a weak attitude and is adamant that a huge improvement is necessary if they are to go for gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Willering also said that she thought that the squad had a lot more to give than what they did when they succumbed to an embarrassing clean sweep by Australia. She insisted that the team suffered from a lack of mental tenacity and that they had to sharpen up if they wanted to see a different outcome this time around.
A big challenge has been the Silver Ferns’ predictability in game strategy, making it ever easier to pip them to the post. The former coach also said that it wasn’t possible to stress enough the importance of toughening up under pressure, as this was where they had been failing most noticeably.
Captain Katrina Grant will have to lead the way and ensures that her squad knows how to apply the talk to the walk. The team is bound to be desperate to re-build confidence and morale after the recent bout of losses and will be looking towards strong leadership for guidance.
Despite the fact that the team will want to do well in the Quad Series, the bigger picture is obviously preparing for the Commonwealth Games. A good result at the Copper Box will see them well on their way.
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