Tasman gear up for tilt at champs

The 2012 national provincial championship could be the last time a Tasman team takes the court as Netball New Zealand will restructure the competition in 2013.

Coach Nic Kelly is hoping the Tasman netball team can make it a year to remember.

The Air New Zealand Tasman team has been named and following only two practice sessions last weekend the side will have limited preparation before their first game in the Lion Foundation National Provincial Championship in South Auckland on Sunday.

However Kelly, who has coached Tasman netball's top team for three seasons, said this group will be formidable.

"This is the strongest team I have coached since I have been here.

"It will be a short, sharp campaign but most of this team have played together before.

"We have the team to do better than our 11th place last year, but you never know what other areas will put out."

Tasman will play Counties Manukau in South Auckland on Sunday; Southland at Saxton Stadium on September 9 at 11am; Eastern at Saxton Stadium on September 16 at noon, and Western in Palmerston North on September 22. Finals week runs from October 2-6 in Tauranga.

TASMAN TEAM: Melissa Brady (captain) – SMOG Stainless Steel, Cara Wiapo – SMOG Stainless Steel, Kate Parsons – SMOG Stainless Steel, Karli Hopkins – SMOG Stainless Steel, Tash Ford – Harlequins, Portia Barcello – Marlborough Girls' College, Jodi Hikuroa – Jacks OPD Richmond, Philippa Dean – Jacks OPD Richmond, Courtney Clarke – Wanderers A, Kiri Burney – Richmond Robbies Bar and Bistro Red, Rosa Edwards – Nelson College for Girls, Christta Burrows – Prices Pharmacy A. Nic Kelly – coach, Marilyn Milne – manager, Karrin Aitken-Meehan – physio.

The Nelson Mail