Crampton, Peeters part of Steel's future plans
Their inaugural trans-Tasman netball season has left Steel midcourters Gina Crampton and Stacey Peeters hungry for more.
Despite limited opportunities on the court, the talented duo impressed enough to earn a second contract with the Ascot Park Hotel-sponsored franchise for 2015.
Both played an integral role in the Netball South under-23 team placing runner-up at last week's New Zealand Age Group Championships in Dunedin. Crampton, who captained the side, was rewarded for a host of dynamic performances by being named midcourter of the tournament by Netball New Zealand selectors and earning a coveted place in the overall tournament team.
"It's always nice to have your performances highlighted like that and I really feel we did well as a team during the tournament which bodes well for Steel next year," Crampton, 22, said.
Their under-23 team-mates Phoenix Karaka and Storm Purvis have already been confirmed in Steel's defensive ranks for 2015.
"I think we showed in under-23s that we can play well together and we're building that base which is really important. You need to have those connections and be able to rely on them," Crampton said.
Crampton, who debuted for Steel in 2012 as a replacement player, is eager to secure more court time.
"I just want to take every opportunity I can. If I get the court time, I want to make sure I make the most of it."
Peeters, originally from Gore, said she was "beyond excited" to feature in Steel's future plans.
"I can see the direction the franchise is taking and I've seen the benefits of what can happen when JB (coach Janine Southby) initiates a plan - it earned us the World Youth Championship title last year. So I'm very positive about what can happen for Steel in the next few years," she said.
Peeters, who was first recruited as an official Steel training partner in 2013, said her first full campaign was a new level of intensity.
"I didn't realise how big that step up was until halfway through the season and I was knackered - it was really hard work," she said.
"Gina and I have spoken about it and we just want to be as fit and mentally prepared as we can be now that we know exactly what's in store. You really have to train how you play and, when you see results, you know the training is short term pain for long term gain."
Peeters, 22, thrived in the Steel environment.
"I just tried to take everything in because there is just so much knowledge there. I learned heaps and definitely improved parts of my game so it will be great to continue that journey."
The Southland Times