New Zealand netball at tipping point as player drain threatens to derail ANZ premiership

Cathrine Latu in action for the Central Pulse
Cathrine Latu in action for the Central Pulse Photo credit: Photosport

Is now the time Netball New Zealand needs to start worrying?

"Lack of player retention" are the words on everybody's lips after ANZ Premiership giants Leana de Bruin, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid and Catherine Tuivaiti announced they are bidding the Kiwi competition farewell in search of greener pastures.

With all eight Australian teams for the Super Netball competition now finalised for 2018 - it's left a significant dent to the experience in the Kiwi rosters and makes you think: have we too become a netball nation feeding the best competition in the world?

Former Silver Fern Leana de Bruin was set to retire but an offer from the Adelaide Thunderbirds not only swayed her decision to carry on playing, but is also a means to creating a future for he off court as well.

"This move will definitely help me to further my career in a coaching role and that's a big thing for me," says de Bruin.

"I definitely want to get into coaching; I'd love to be a top coach in the future."

Whilst the 40-year-old only plans to live in Australia temporarily, the idea that the Australian competition will become the pinnacle of netball is worrying.

De Bruin not only accepted a spot to play in Adelaide - she also took a pay cut to do it.

"Certainly I've been paid more to play here in New Zealand, it's not a gold bag of money being thrown at me but it's more of an opportunity," says de Bruin.

"At the end of the day I've got to be a little bit selfish at my age and see what I want out of life."

The 138 test veteran also expressed concern over Kiwi players being snubbed for national selections for wanting to be part of a competition consisting of the world's best players, namely, Laura Langman.

"I can see both sides of the coin but Laura Langman has given so much to Netball New Zealand and maybe a ruling if you have played over 100 caps could be revised."

The 2018 ANZ Premiership season may have its saving grace holding on to players like Maria Tutaia and Katrina Grant with the Commonwealth Games around the corner, but if the Australian competition continues to strengthen, the clock is well and truly ticking.