Wendy Frew won't be at all surprised if television commentators and the Southland public stumble over her name this season.
The Southern Steel and Silver Fern midcourter tied the knot with long-term partner Trent Frew over the festive period and said plenty of people were still getting their heads around the fact that she was no longer known as Wendy Telfer.
"It's going to take a bit of getting used to," she said with a laugh yesterday. "It's just like any other netball player. A few have changed their names. I'm sure they'll get used to it."
Frew has not had much time to settle into married life, with the 25-year-old heading away to the Gold Coast in Australia for a rigorous 10-day Silver Fern camp, which involved four training sessions a day.
She arrived back in Invercargill only on Thursday and the focus has firmly switched to Southern Steel and the ANZ Championship, with Steel holding their opening camp of the season this weekend. Frew is not complaining, though. In fact, she's buzzing about the start of the ANZ Championship.
"I can't wait for Steel. I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing netball and working on the things I need to," she said.
2010 shapes as one of the biggest in Frew's netball career. During the past two years the Southlander has been involved in the Silver Ferns squad and, with the Commonwealth Games looming in India in October, she said she would love to be part of the action. Frew has tasted court time in the Silver Fern dress, but is yet to cement a regular starting spot in the New Zealand midcourt. She believes she has to have a strong ANZ Championship with Steel to make Silver Ferns coach Ruth Aitken sit up and take notice.
"I certainly need to step up," Frew said.
"If you want to make the Ferns you need to be starting. You've got to put your hand up so they know you want to be there. I'm certainly looking forward to the challenge."
Last year, Frew was mainly used at wing defence by Steel but, with last year's skipper Adine Wilson no longer in the midcourt, she could find herself slotting in at either centre or wing attack for Steel.
The Silver Ferns selectors seem to favour Frew in the centre or wing-attack positions and that was where she was hoping to play for Steel, she said.
"I'm probably looking more at wing attack or centre with Steel this season. There's lots of strength in the `D' end, but wherever I put the bib on I'll do my best."
With Wilson not returning this year, some have hinted that Frew – who was vice-captain of Steel last year – could be in line to be named captain this year. She was remaining coy about those rumours yesterday, though.
"There's lots of senior leadership players in the group. Whoever (coach) Robyn (Broughton) puts in there will make a good job of it."
Frew will be one of four players in this year's Steel squad to have attended high school in Southland, with ANZ Championship rookies Hayley Saunders and Emma Moynihan joining former Verdon College girl Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit this season. Frew said it was exciting that the franchise was starting to provide opportunities for homegrown players. "It's awesome that so many local players have put their hands up," she said.
"It's not easy to make an ANZ (Championship) team. For these girls to step up, it's obviously a huge achievement for them."
- © Fairfax NZ News