Southern Steel boss Julie Patterson has labelled the ANZ Championship overseas player rules messy after Netball New Zealand denied the Invercargill-based frasnchise the use of shooter Megan Dehn for the 2009 season.
Dehn had agreed to join the Southern Steel team again for next year's competition but Netball NZ has blocked her. Steel had to apply to Netball NZ to include the former Australian international in their 2009 squad because she is not a New Zealand citizen and isn't eligible to represent New Zealand national teams.
Netball NZ has treated each application from the franchises for an overseas player case-by-case. It was decided not to grant Dehn a dispensation to play for the Steel despite other New Zealand organsations being allowed the use of overseas players.
Netball NZ said it felt Dehn's place in the Steel squad would block an opportunity for a New Zealand player.
If Dehn was to have come south for a second season in a row it seems she probably would have been used as a bench option with other shooters Donna Wilkins, Daneka Wipiiti and Julianna Naoupu already in the squad. It is a scenario which Netball NZ would have weighed up when deciding its stance on the application.
While Patterson was weary of engaging in a debate on the matter through the media she did indicate yesterday when she spoke to The Southland Times that she felt the process was flawed. She believed the application system was too subjective and not fair to each team across the board.
Each team should be allowed to use one overseas player and the application setup should be used if a team wanted a second, Patterson said.
Dehn's block to play for the Steel in 2009 means she will line up for Australian team the Queensland Firebirds. It also means the Steel is searching for a 12th player to round out its 2009 squad.
Each of the 10 ANZ Championship teams was to have released their squads of 12 on Wednesday night but the Steel has been given a 20-day extension to name its 12th player. The Central Pulse has also been issued a 20-day extension to name its entire squad with the 2008 wooden-spooners struggling to put together a line up for next year's competition.
The Steel will have to scout around New Zealand for a 12th player to join the 11 they announced in September. Former Sting player and New Zealand under-21 representative Hayley Crofts looks to be an obvious option, although Dehn's initial selection would suggest coach Robyn Broughton is keen to add another shooter to the mix.
ANZ CHAMPIONSHIP 2009 SQUADS
Southern Steel: Daneka Wipiiti, Donna Wilkins, Julianna Naoupu, Adine Wilson, Liana Barrett-Chase, Wendy Telfer, Sheryl Scanlan, Erika Burgess, Katrina Grant, Megan Hutton, Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit. (One to be added.)
Northern Mystics: Temepara George, Jade Topia, Grace Rasmussen, Rachel Rasmussen, Stephanie Bond, Rawinia Everitt, Cathrine Latu (note 1), Debbie White, Vilimaina Davu (note 2), Keshia Grant, Finau Pulu, Pamela Cookey. (Note 1: subject to international clearance. Note 2: subject to successful application for New Zealand citizenship.)
Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic: Leana de Bruin, Joline Henry, Laura Langman, Halana Leith, Nicola Pettit, Elias Shadrock, Frances Solia, Jodi Tod, Jess Tuki, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk, Casey Williams.
Central Pulse: Granted an extension of 20 working days to finalise their playing roster.
Canterbury Tactix: Ellen Halpenny, Sonia Mkoloma, Anna Thompson, Maree Bowden, Julie Seymour, Phillipa Finch, Larrissa Wilcox, Victoria Smith, Kahurangi Waititi, Charlotte Kight, Jodi Brown.
Adelaide Thunderbirds: Jane Altschwager, Emily Beaton, Georgia Beaton, Kate Beveridge, Mo'onia Gerrard, Natalie Medhurst, Geva Mentor, Bianca Reddy, Joanne Sutton, Laura von Bertouch, Natalie von Bertouch, Sheree Wingard.
Melbourne Vixens: Ama Agbeze (visa pending), Bianca Chatfield, Natasha Chokljat, Renae Hallinan, Ashlee Howard, Wendy Jacobsen, Kathleen Knott, Sharelle McMahon, Chelsey Nash, Julie Prendergast, Brooke Thompson, Caitlin Thwaites.
New South Wales Swifts: Catherine Cox, Susan Pratley, Vanessa Ware, Kimberlee Green, Kimberly Purc ell, Emma Koster, Erin Bell, Rebecca Bulley, Samantha May, Amy Wild, Sarah Barrett, Jessica Mansell.
Queensland Firebirds: Romelda Aiken, Laura Geitz, Clare McMeniman, Lauren Nourse, Peta Stephens, Keirra Trompf, Janelle Lawson, Demelza Fellowes, Jenny O'Connor, Alissa Castrisos, Megan Dehn.
West Coast Fever: Caitlin Basset, Emma Beckett, Shae Bolton, Madison Browne, Johannah Curran, Bianca Franklin, Susan Fuhrmann, Andrea Gilmore, Josie Janz, Jasmine Keene, Stacey Rosman, Nikala Smith.
- The Southland Times