The Southland netball team is aiming for a top-four finish at next week's national provincial championship in Dunedin.
Southland has been included with Hamilton, Auckland, an Otago invitational team, Manawatu and Waitakere, while two Otago teams, Christchurch, Wellington, North Harbour and Counties Manukau make up the other pool.
Southland coach Reinga Te Huia said the playoffs were the goal.
"We know that we are going to have to really click and make it all work together, but the girls have been really positive and really eager and keen. I think they are ready to have a good go at it."
The top two teams from each section advance through to the semifinals.
Southland's preparation has included helping the Silver Ferns and Australia prepare for the opening Constellation Cup test in Invercargill and it was something which the players had relished being part of, Te Huia said.
"The girls really enjoyed it, but we were quite overwhelmed at times with the speed of the ball and how quickly they went. They all really enjoyed the experience of having a go at them."
The week-long NPC is a demanding programme, with teams playing two games on some days during pool play.
"It's very old school, very much what it used to be like," Te Huia said.
"I think it's very important that we use our combinations because you are going to have to use your bench wisely. You won't be able to use seven players and expect them to tough it out for the week. It's important that you trust the people on the bench and bring them on when you need to."
Defending champions Otago A, Christchurch, Hamilton and Auckland have named strong squads for the championship.
Otago have lost skipper Shannon Francois to the Silver Ferns, with her Southern Steel team-mate Gina Crampton taking over the captaincy.
- © Fairfax NZ News