Fifita awarded Steel contract

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Oamaru teenage netball sensation Taneisha Fifita has earned her first ANZ Premiership contract and will be a permanent addition to the defensive ranks of the Southern Steel next season.

With a prowess which belies her youth, Fifita adds a new dynamic to the Steel line-up and is joined by Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and Abby Erwood as the latest confirmed signings.

An official training partner with the franchise for the past two years, Fifita’s promotion into the team is testament to the strong performances she has executed when given the opportunity as a replacement player.

“I’m really excited to start a new chapter,” Fifita said.

“I’m not feeling nervous because I already know the team. I’m just really keen to take another step up and learn as much as I can.”

Fifita’s family will relocate to Invercargill from Oamaru with her.

“It will be a good change and it will be nice to have my family around me.”

Fifita earned three caps with the Steel this year and relished the chance to test her mettle against some of the country’s leading shooters.

“I really like the physical side of the ANZ Premiership games. It’s a new and different experience,” she said.

“I do feel the pressure sometimes but I just try and do what I do and not think too much about it.”

She was eager to continue developing her skills under the tutelage of Selby-Rickit, who has notched up more than 150 elite games.

“I feel really honoured to play alongside her to be honest. It’s really cool to learn so much from her and Abby.”

After making her debut in 2017, former Waitaki Girls’ High School pupil, and 1.93m goal shoot, Jen O’Connell will also return in 2020.