Netball: Leaving Wellington for Southern Steel proved an agonising decision for Tiana Metuarau

Young shooter Tiana Metuarau's decision to play for Southern Steel next season has been emotional. 

After four seasons with Central Pulse, Metuarau moves south in search of a starting spot, but leaving Wellington wasn't a decision she made lightly.

"I'm pretty nervous - I've never moved away from home," she tells Newshub.

After being at the Pulse for four years, but unable to crack the starting side, she knew something had to change.

But with a new team comes a new challenge - and the decision to move has taken its toll on the 19-year-old.

"I spent a lot of time crying, because I hate being away from home and get really anxious."  

But like any young athlete, Metuarau has goals and in order to achieve them, she had to call time on her career in the capital.

"I wanted to start and I wanted to get consistent game time. I just want to play full games again and get my match fitness back."

She needs consistent game-time, something that hasn't come easy at the Pulse, stuck behind Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio.

"There was not one moment where I felt that I wasn't good enough, it was just I had two really strong shooters ahead of me."

Metuarau didn't need to look far for advice, confiding in mother and former Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu.

"I was crying. I was really honest with her and I said this is what I need to do.

"I think it's the only way to get into the Ferns squad again. When you differentiate her role as a high performance director to a mother, she was really sad." 

The 19-year-old will be a part of the U21 World Cup in Fiji next year - a step in the right direction, as she continues her fight for her ultimate goal - the Silver Ferns. 

Before that, though, she has a chance to make Southern Steel's starting shooter spot her own. 

"You can only be on the bench for so long, before you lose the fire in your belly."

A move south to the Steel is sure to fuel the fire for Metuarau in 2021.