No place like home for New Zealand Silver Ferns netball team goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit
Silver Ferns goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit loved landing at the Invercargill Airport on Monday.
While most visitors begrudgingly make the windy stroll from the airplane to the airport terminal, Selby-Rickit and some of her Southern Steel teammates in the Ferns squad were excited.
"It is great, some of us southern girls, as soon as we touched down at Invercargill Airport we were so happy to be here," she said.
"It is really good being home, we have been to like Launceston, Tasmania, it is quite far away and it is definitely nice to be home."
The 24-year-old shooter has been based in the south since she started playing for the Southern Steel in 2011.
She is hoping that the passionate southern netball fans will give the Silver Ferns the boost they need to level the Constellation Cup series, with a victory at the ILT Stadium Southland on Thursday night.
"I love it, it's my favourite place to play, there is nowhere like it really," she said.
"It is always nice having that crowd behind us and it is always scary for the opposition and it is like having an extra player on your team and we love playing here."
The Ferns have been reflecting on their third test defeat in the series as they look to bounce back in Invercargill.
"We have addressed a lot of things, but there's been a lot of reviewing and looking at the tapes," she said.
"We saw in that second game we can come back from it and we have got a lot more to offer and hopefully we will see that on Thursday night."
The Otaki raised sharpshooter is making an impact in her debut international season for the Silver Ferns.
She landed some crucial goals in the Silver Ferns' only win of the Constellation Cup in game two in Tasmania and has been averaging 17 goals in the series.
"As a shooter it is always something we have to work on, it is always really important in those pressure situations to put those shots up," she said.
"But I suppose having some of those experienced players like Laura [Langman] who have been there so long backing you up gives you confidence."
"I think our combinations are really getting there, we still have a lot of work to do, it has been good to be out on court, it has been a good experience and I have got a lot of confidence out of it."
The 1.88m goal attack has noticed the jump in the standard of play from domestic to international level.
"It has been really intense, really tough games and when Australia are the best in the world it has been a real challenge, I have been really enjoying it and loving it," she said.
"The ANZ Championship is definitely really physical, but having the top Australian players from every team of the ANZ put in one team against you, is just another step up in physicality, it takes a while to get used to."
Selby-Rickit has spent plenty of time in the goal attack bib in her debut international season, but the return of experienced shooter Maria Tutaia provides more jostling for position, as coach Southby juggles a handful of attacking players into two positions.
"Everyone brings something different, we have got so many great shooters, we have got Maria [Tutaia] who has experience and can put up those long shots and we have got Bailey [Mes] and Maia [Wilson] who are really great holders," she said.
"We are challenging each other and bringing the best out of each other, it only makes us better come game day."