Netball: Silver Ferns star Ameliaranne Ekenasio in race against time to qualify for Commonwealth Games squad

Former Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio is in a race against time to achieve the required fitness standards to be selected for the Commonwealth Games.

Ekenasio has revealed she's working every day after her return to the court from the birth of her second child, but it's proving harder than she thought.

She admits she's found it tough to rediscover the conditioning and form that earned her 47 caps for the Silver Ferns, with the naming of the squad to head to Birmingham expected at the end of the month.

"I don't know if anything could have prepared me for it," Ekenasio told Newshub.                               

The 31-year-old returned to the ANZ Premiership with the Bay of Plenty Magic only four months after daughter Luna arrived.

Since then, she's not only been training and playing to feel like her old self again - but also for the Commonwealth Games. 

And despite being one of New Zealand's most experienced players, she's not guaranteed a spot, as she'll still need to meet coach Dame Noeline Taurua's infamous conditioning benchmarks.

"I'm still a little way off from hitting those fitness targets," Ekenasio admitted.  "But I'm working on that every day and it just takes a bit of courage to keep working on it, even though I still feel like I'm a bit of a distance from it."

Dame Noeline is renowned for her strict fitness expectations, with players being sent home if her standards aren't met and it's something she isn't willing to budge on. 

"You know it's the same as always," said Taurua last week."The fitness requirements have been the same as always for the last two-to-three years."

Ekenasio respects her coach's standards, but it doesn't help with her frustrations. 

"It's such a strange feeling knowing what I want to do out there and it's just not happening," she said.

To help make it happen, there'll be plenty more half-court drills in her attempt to make the cut when the final squad is selected in a few weeks. 

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