Netball New Zealand at total fault for fall from grace of Silver Ferns - Liz Ellis

Laura Langman hasn't played for the Silver Ferns in 18 months.
Laura Langman hasn't played for the Silver Ferns in 18 months. Photo credit: Photosport

Sacking Janine Southby shouldn't be the only result that stems from Netball New Zealand's review into the disastrous Commonwealth Games campaign, says former Australian captain Liz Ellis.

Ellis believes Southby should fall on her sword, but there needs to be greater investigation into how Netball New Zealand evaluated her as the best candidate for the job as national coach.

She is also astonished at the governing body's decision to leave the trans-Tasman competition and ban any Silver Fern hopefuls from playing in Australia.

Speaking to Andrew Gourdie and Jim Kayes on RadioLIVE, Ellis said the solution to fixing netball in New Zealand goes far deeper than just sacking Southby.

"Netball New Zealand needs to look at how they got to this point in the first place," Ellis told Sunday Sport.

"I'd like to see Netball New Zealand take a pretty hard look at themselves and ask how players look like they have they weight of the world on their shoulders.

"A lot of these decisions were made by people who are no longer associated with the sport.

"I have faith that Netball New Zealand has the right personal in place to take a good look at how they got here and make the right decisions - not just sack the coach."

Netball New Zealand at total fault for fall from grace of Silver Ferns - Liz Ellis
Liz Ellis.
Liz Ellis. Photo credit: Photosport

Netball New Zealand is currently led by Jennie Wyllie, who was not part of the organisation between 2015-2016 when Southby was appointed coach and the trans-Tasman competition was scrapped.

The ANZ Premiership was established in 2017 but failed to attract an influx of international talent, with most of the world's best players choosing to offer their services to the Australian league.

That included Laura Langman and Cathrine Tuivaiti, who became ineligible for national honours by aligning themselves with Australian franchises.

Ellis blasted Netball New Zealand for "criminal" decision-making on multiple fronts.

Ellis said denying the country's elite netball players the opportunity to play with and against the best players in the world was deplorable, and needs to be re-evaluated immediately.

"Applying a blanket ban means every other nation on earth has their best players playing in the best league in the world and that is the Super Netball League.

"What I would suggest is that Netball New Zealand works with Netball Australia to stagger their leagues so that players can play in both leagues.

"There needs to be an acceptance of responsibility from the people that made that decision. Keeping your players from the best netball league in the world is criminal.

"I think it was incredibly short-sighted of the administration at that time to say no. They did their national team a disservice."

On Langman's relationship with Netball New Zealand, Ellis noted: "It's my understanding that there hasn't been much of an overture made to see where [Langman] is at, to try and figure out a way to get her back into the team. Why isn't she there?"

Ellis said the New Zealand vs Australia rivalry is the most important in the sport and hopes that once the review is complete, the Silver Ferns can begin the track back to redemption and be competitive with the best in the world, which as it stands New Zealand is nowhere near.


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