Netball: Southern Steel ready to defy demanding ANZ Premiership travel schedule

The Southern Steel are determined not to be bogged down by the new reality that comes with the return of the ANZ Premiership season from coronavirus.

The Invercargill-based side will have to travel the length of the country each week to ensure the revised competition goes ahead.

"It just sucks that it's going to be every weekend that we do the trip for 10 straight weeks," Steel co-captain Gina Crampton has told Newshub. "It's going to be interesting."

And with such a demanding travel schedule, Netball NZ is doing everything it can to help the Steel.

"We will be on charter planes," Steel chief executive Lana Winders says. "We won't be going into airport terminals and they will be direct flights."

The disadvantage of travel will be a small price to pay to ensure the sport can get back on its feet after two months without action.

"I've got 10 players who are itching to get back on court," Steel coach Reinga Bloxham has told Newshub. "I don't think they've ever been so excited to get in the hurtbox together.

"At the end of the day, we have a competition and we'll do anything to be able to play," Crampton adds. "It's just something we have to do and get on with it - we can't really complain about it."

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the Steel's finances. With no ticket revenue or hospitality income, they've been left firmly on the back foot.

Winders reveals they'd incurred losses of more than $100,000 and with no fans to cheer them on, they'll have to turn to each other for motivation.

"There's been plenty of games here and in Dunedin that they've got us across the line, so we know that we're going to miss their parochial support," Bloxham adds.

The competition's most successful franchise will have to defy the toughest of odds, if they're to add another trophy to their cabinet in 2020.

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Netball: Southern Steel ready to defy demanding ANZ Premiership travel schedule