Magic's support crew scrambles to get passports
The partners of two Magic players have been caught napping, reports Maryanne Twentyman.
The partners of two Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic netball players are already in a sweat as they wait for urgent passports to ensure they make it to Melbourne for Sunday's ANZ Championship final.
Adrian Pooley, partner of Magic captain Laura Langman, said the penny dropped that his passport might have expired while watching Monday night's tense preliminary final against the Northern Mystics in Auckland.
"When it actually occurred to me that the girls would be going, I suddenly remembered that my passport was close to expiring when Laura and I were overseas last year," he said.
Sure enough, Mr Pooley, a Wintec sports science technician, found that his passport had expired in May.
"I hadn't given it a thought because I have never been to any of Laura's games in Australia, just the ones [in New Zealand] so I did get caught out."
As did Cameron Waitapu, husband of Magic goal attack Jessie Waitapu. He said she was "not impressed" that the passport forms she had left for her husband four weeks ago had not been completed.
"If the passport doesn't arrive by [today], we will have to drive to Auckland and pick it up so that's not the greatest result," she said.
When the Hamilton builder was asked if his tardiness was anything to do with not backing his wife to make the final, Mr Waitapu said it was more to do with parting with money for a passport when he "might not have to".
"I know I'm in big trouble and I'm doing everything I can to make it right," he said. "I'll be there, the girls will win and it will be all good," he said.
Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic chief executive Sheryl Dawson said tickets for Sunday's final against the Melbourne Vixens were selling well.
"We've got about 58 tickets left and we believe that these will all go," she said. "The Magic have always been fortunate to have such amazing fans who are incredibly supportive and I know they will want to be there in Melbourne to see the girls take that title."
She said the franchise was also fielding calls from Magic fans based in Melbourne which "was exciting".
Mr Pooley and Mr Waitapu joined other player's partners and family in providing vocal support at Monday's preliminary final where they dressed up in wigs and overalls.
"It was good fun and we will be there on Sunday making just as much noise - I really think the Magic will go all the way this year - there is a real air of confidence about the way they are closing out their matches like the way they steamrolled the Mystics in extra time on Monday," Mr Pooley said.
Before boarding the plane to Melbourne on Saturday night, Mr Pooley will be hoping to help Marist take out a semifinal win in the under-85kg rugby championship against Te Rapa this weekend.
"So I'm picking there'll be plenty to celebrate," he said.