Shannon Francois re-signs with Southern Steel

02:44, Jul 10 2014
Shannon Francois
STEELY: Shannon Francois.

Silver Fern midcourter Shannon Francois has re-signed with the Southern Steel for the 2015 ANZ Netball Championship.

The talented Francois is a key signing for the southern franchise and joins experienced campaigner Wendy Frew, Jamaican international Jhaniele Fowler and defensive duo Phoenix Karaka and Storm Purvis on the roster.

"It's crazy to think this will be my fourth year but I'm extremely excited to be back with Steel," she said.

"It's a great team to be part of and I actually love it down here - I feel very settled.

"Coming fifth this year, we were so close to that semi-finals spot and finished the season so strongly. I really want to get into that top four - we just have to keep building on what we achieved this year and make it happen."

Francois, who is due to leave on Monday with the New Zealand team for the Commonwealth Games, said her focus was firmly on Glasgow now her trans-Tasman league future was finalised.

"It's definitely something that you don't want to be worrying about while you are away so it's good to get it all sorted," she said.

"Now I can just focus on winning that gold medal."

The Invercargill-based pharmacist was eagerly anticipating the prospect of rubbing shoulders with the world's sporting elite in Glasgow.

"Just to be given the chance to be in the athletes' village and the Games environment itself is incredible and I just want to soak it all up and enjoy every moment," she said.

Steel chief executive Sue Clarke said Francois's re-signing was proof the franchise was now reaping the rewards of its commitment to develop emerging talent.

"Shannon launched her ANZ Championship career with the Steel and it has been wonderful to see her develop over the past few years to the point where she has now cemented her place as one of New Zealand's best," Clarke said.

"We're very proud of what she has achieved during her time in the Steel environment. Her training ethic is unrivalled and she is such a positive influence - it will be exciting to see the impact she continues to have."


The Southland Times