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Fiji Will Host Ferns

For the first time in the history of netball, Fiji will be hosting the Silver Ferns along with Samoa for the inaugural Oceania Tri-Series in January next year. Fiji has
13 Nov 2014 07:53
Fiji Will Host Ferns
Netball Fiji president Wainikiti Bogidrau (left, with Fiji Pearls coach Kate Carpenter at FASANOC House in Suva yesterday. Photo: Justine Mannan

For the first time in the history of netball, Fiji will be hosting the Silver Ferns along with Samoa for the inaugural Oceania Tri-Series in January next year.

Fiji has only faced the Silver Ferns in the Netball World Cup championships in 1999, 2003 and 2011 but has never played them outside a major tournament let alone at home.

As the Fiji Pearls prepare for the 2015 Netball World Cup Championships in Australia next year, Fiji Pearls head coach Kate Carpenter said playing the Ferns will be good for their preparations.

“Netball Fiji has shown the capacity and the capability to host and host well, so it is a viable option for the silver ferns to tour here,” Carpenter said.

“Obviously we are, aside from the Ferns, second best team in Oceania and ranked seventh in the world, so it’s an exciting opportunity this is so exciting and to be able to play the best is what every athlete wants to do.

“Our preparation is fantastic, it will be the first match of our preparations for the World championship, so obviously to play the ferns, and number two in the world first off, is huge.

“But what it does do for the athletes who have played the Ferns before and those who haven’t, is that we will have an understanding of the benchmark in this standard.

“What we have to appreciate is the last time that Fiji played the Silver Ferns was in 2011 at the last World Cup championship, previous to that was in 2003 and in 1999, so this is key in that we are playing the Ferns outside a World championship in a test series so that’s really significant, it will be a reality check.”

Carpenter said playing against quality opponents will help develop teams like Fiji and Samoa to play at their best and against the best again when it comes to the Commonwealth Games.

“Both Samoa and Fiji have not been in a big international event since the World championships because one thing that stood out for me in the Commonwealth Games was Oceania was only represented by New Zealand,” she said.

“So this is really important for our preparations for the World championships and for Fiji and Samoa to be back playing for the best.”

The Fiji Pearls will face the Silver Ferns on January 9, followed by Samoa on January 21 and will be playing the Silver Ferns again on January 22.

The Silver Ferns will arrive on January 17.

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 


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