Netball: Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic's Australian recruit Georgia Marshall stranded back home

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic have been left frustrated at the New Zealand immigration process that's left one of their squad members stranded in Australia.

Shooter Georgia Marshall has applied four times to enter the country without success.

"It's been a bit of a struggle," Marshall tells Newshub.

"Knowing all the girls are back there and training, and basically all together and into the swing of things, and I'm trying to keep up with the same sessions on my own, with a bit of help from mum and dad - it's just not the same," Marshall laughs.

Marshall returned home to Australia to spend lockdown with her family - a decision that was made in conjunction with the Magic coaches and staff.

But since New Zealand has come out of lockdown and a return to the ANZ Premiership became evident, the Magic have tried to get Marshall back.

As an Australian citizen with a New Zealand working visa, Marshall meets the criteria to enter the country. 

She's been approved by Australian immigration to leave the country, but New Zealand immigration has denied the 23-year-old's applications twice.

Her other two applications have received no feedback and when Newshub spoke to her, she planned to put in another application that day.

"It's been very frustrating," Marshall says. "I check my phone every morning to see if there's an email, then I just go on with my day."

The process has left those back in New Zealand scratching their heads as well. 

"It's a process that isn't very opaque." Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty chief executive Rohan West tells Newshub. "You can't see through it and find out where she is in the process 

"Has she got five people in front of her? Ten people? A thousand people?

"That's the really frustrating thing, it's hard to understand what the process is and the timelines. 

"I don’t underestimate the process, but just a little bit more transparency and being able to understand the process would be nice," West says.

Netball: Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic's Australian recruit Georgia Marshall stranded back home

West has tried to reach out to the Sports Minister Grant Robertson and Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, but to no avail.

With all arrivals still required to quarantine for 14 days, Marshall will already miss the Magic's opening game against the Mystics.

If the Australian native doesn't arrive in the country by Friday, she'll miss their second game against the Tactix as well.

One of the Magic's development players will fill the void in the interim.

"She was our third shooter and that's all we had," coach Amigene Metcalfe says.

"If anything happens to any of our shooters, she's just got a little bit of extra experience, she's got time on the court with our team and did a whole pre-season with us."

Despite the frustrations, neither Metcalfe nor Marshall regret the decision to spend lockdown with family.

"At the end of the day, this is a game and that was about your wellbeing and being supported by family," Metcalfe says.

The players feel for Marshall's situation. They're doing their best to keep her involved and spirits high.

"I'm in charge of sending her a little video after every training, so that she gets it from here [the training facility], not just a wee message later with a rundown of what we did," captain Sam Winders says.

"Hopefully, it might make her smile and get her even more excited about coming back," she adds.

Marshall is ready to come back. She jokes she was ready two months ago.

"I've been so used to telling my family, ''I'll be leaving soon, I'll be leaving really really soon'." 

"I've been saying that for the past two months and they say 'you're still here'."

Hopefully, for Marshall and the Magic, that'll change very soon.