For Silver Ferns netball shooter Paula Griffin, the decision to join the Central Pulse as their ace signing for next year's ANZ Championship was both easy and difficult.
Easy in that the 20-year-old Aucklander, who was underused by the Northern Mystics last season, would be guaranteed to start every match; difficult in that she will be leaving home for the first time and heading largely into the unknown.
"I'm really excited about the move because it's a chance for me to be independent and move away from home, and an opportunity to get some court-time," said Griffin, who has signed a one-year deal to become the Pulse's first current Silver Fern.
"But it was a hard decision. I've always lived with my parents, I've just turned 20, so it was kind of a big move for me and a big challenge, but I'm definitely excited."
While the promise of more minutes on the court was attractive, it wasn't the only factor involved in her decision to move south.
She likes the way the Pulse employ a "moving" shooting circle and said working with coach Kate Carpenter and former Australian mentor Jill McIntosh would only improve her game.
"It's always good to have a new coach and new input, and I think Jill's input with the Australian style of play in the shooting circle is going to help as well."
Griffin wants to play solely as a goal attack (Jamilah Gupwell is being sized up for the wing attack role at the Pulse next season), a position she is eyeing as her future at international level.
"All four shooters in the Ferns, we can play both goal shoot and goal attack, but I feel that no one really owns the goal attack position.
"It's something I want to do and I definitely like goal attack more."
Griffin, who will move to Wellington early next year, said she had not been put off signing with the Pulse because of their poor record last season and did not believe it would jeopardise her Silver Ferns status.
"Not at all. I really think the team has a good bunch of players.
"I know they're not all experienced but I think we can form a better team than last season."
Meanwhile, Carpenter said she was happy with the eight players who had been signed for next season.
Of the last four, which must be named by November 1, she said at least two would be more established players.
The players from last season who had missed out on the initial squad, including Lauren Burgess, Hayley Crofts, Candyce Edwards and Nardia Roselli, were still in contention, Carpenter said.
Performances at the national championships would be crucial, she said.
- The Dominion Post