Southern Steel sign towering Jamaican

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 09:49 12/11/2012
Jhaniele Fowler
MICHAEL BRADLEY
TOWERING JAMAICAN: Jhaniele Fowler has been signed to play for the Southern Steel.

Relevant offers

Netball

Queensland Firebirds trounce Mainland Tactix in trans-Tasman netball league Defence will lead to attack for Central Pulse as they prepare to face Magic Magic need to find improvement ahead of playoffs West Coast Fever bounce back to beat Adelaide Thunderbirds in thriller NSW Swifts edge Melbourne Vixens to cement spot in trans-Tasman netball finals Steel nervous spectators as Pulse take on Magic Nothern Mystics hang on for trans-Tasman netball win over Southern Steel Wing defence Aisha Bower hoping for more court time after impressive Magic debut Liana Leota wants Central Pulse to play with courage against Magic in Hamilton Mainland Tactix determined to avoid infamous trans-Tasman league record

The Southern Steel can now boast the trans-Tasman netball league's tallest player in its ranks following the signing of towering Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler.

At 1.98m Fowler eclipses her Jamaican team-mate Romelda Aiken, a pivotal member of the Queensland Firebirds, by 2cm and will prove an intimidating presence under the post for opposition teams to contend with.

Securing a championship contract has been an aspiration for the 23-year-old, who has been previously linked to the Adelaide Thunderbirds as a potential signing.

"The Steel presented itself and I know the Steel is a good team so I am excited to represent them," she said.

Fowler herself is eager to soak up the knowledge which will stem from playing alongside the world's best netballers in the trans-Tasman league – advancing both her own development and that of her compatriots.

"I'm very excited. My personal goal is to just get more experience in terms of playing with the elite players," she said.

"Our club league is not that strong in Jamaica so to play in the ANZ Championship is an opportunity that will not only benefit me but also netball in my country through the knowledge I can share."

Fowler will move to Invercargill and unite with her new Steel team-mates in January as they embark on an intensive pre-season build-up.

"I'm a team person so I am looking forward to meeting the rest of the team and management."

She will no doubt field plenty of questions regarding her move from the sunny climes of Jamaica to the deep South but it takes more than the region's reputation for unpredictable weather to faze her.

"I've been to other countries where it has been cold ... I will be able to adjust," she said.

"I have looked Invercargill up on the internet and I know it's very beautiful. It's going to be hard adjusting to living somewhere new for the first couple of months but I am excited for the opportunity."

Fowler has spent the past week in Auckland competing at the Fast5 Netball World Series and has relished the game's dynamic new format, especially the introduction of three-point shots at goal.

Slotting a match-winning long bomb – worth six on the scoreboard as it was during Jamaica's power play quarter where double points are awarded – to snatch a 32-31 victory over Malawi was among the highlights.

"It's very fun … the feeling when I netted that shot was awesome," she said.

Ad Feedback

Steel coach Janine Southby said while the franchise continued to have a strong focus on developing players, Fowler would inject some valuable international experience.

"Someone of Jhaniele's calibre is a real asset to us and obviously her height is going to be a bonus," Southby said.

"She's a really strong target for us on the court … she's going to add a different flavour and bring a different culture to the Steel which is exciting."

Fowler's signing completes the Steel squad for 2013.

Southern Steel squad for 2013: Shooters: Jhaniele Fowler, Jodi Brown, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Kate Shearer. Midcourters: Courtney Tairi, Shannon Francois, Wendy Frew, Phillipa Finch, Gina Crampton, Stacey Peeters. Defenders: Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick, Storm Purvis, Rachel Rasmussen, Phoenix Karaka.

- The Southland Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who should play goal shoot for the Silver Ferns?

Bailey Mes

Catherine Latu

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content