Netball: NZ men's team consider bid for ANZ Premiership inclusion

NZ men's netball captain Kruze Tangira wants to see a men's team involved in the ANZ Premiership.

Tangira wants to capitalise on the momentum his side built during the recent series against the Silver Ferns by taking part in the annual domestic competition, which he says will also help them prepare for their upcoming World Cup bid.

Their participation in the recent domestic quad series helped lift the profile of the men's game to new heights

The only problem is three of their players now head back to Australia, meaning they'll miss the chance to keep that ball rolling.

"If there was better opportunity in regards to mens netball for them here I think that would definitely sway them to move back home," Tangira says.

Starting up a dedicated men's competition is one idea, but Tangira thinks having a men's team in the ANZ Premiership could be better.

"I wouldn't say that New Zealand is ready for a sole men's premiership, but definitely the inclusion of one or two male teams in the current one would be great," he adds.

Recent performances showed a men's team in a women's competition might not be as far fetched as you think. 

While the men's side beat the Silver Ferns handily in last year's series, this year they split the difference at one win apiece, as the women prevailed in the final.

"The Ferns proved and noeline proved that with the correct gameplan regardless of who you're up against as a netball team you can actually win," says goalshoot Junior Levi. 

"That just affords credibility to men being included into the space that women currently occupy.

"i think it presents commercial opportunities… uplifting the profile the women have already but also solidifying grassroots programmes and pathways for boys and young adult men that want to take up netball and probably are a little bit scared to, given the stigma."

The biggest problem would likely be money. They'd need to find approximately $1 million dollars to enter.

"It's hard to get sponsorship as well, and that's something we need to focus on as a governing body," says midcourter Deepak Patu.

If it was to happen, the benefits would be huge, improving pathways and helping preparation for both the men's and women's world cups.

"It would be great to start those conversations say early to mid next year, just to see what their feeling is towards that idea," Tangira says.

"I think it would be really good for the women as well, especially leading into the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and the world cup in 2023."

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