Netball ACT pushing for GWS Giants games in Canberra

Taylah Davies, Kristina Brice, Toni Anderson, Kimberlee Green, Susan Pettitt, Sam Poolman and Kristiana Manu’a will represent Giants Netball next year. Photo: Narelle SpangherGreater Western Sydney Giants’ new National Netball League club is likely to play games in Canberra in 2017.
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Netball ACT general manager Adam Horner said discussions had started with their New South Wales counterpart to establish a connection with the newly-formed Giants team to play select games in Canberra.

The draw is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks and Horner said he was focused on bringing games to Canberra.

“We’ve been very up front about the fact that we would love to have a presence of the league here in Canberra and there is no question that we’ve put our best foot forward,” he said.

“We’ve worked closely with a number of partners to try and make that a reality.”

The NNL replaces the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship and comprises Australian teams only, with the formation of three new clubs (GWS, Collingwood and Sunshine Coast) rounding out an eight-team league.

“Obviously it’s pretty exciting times for everyone involved in netball and it’s just going to be a matter of keeping a very close eye on all the bits and pieces that are happening to make the most out of this new league,” Horner said.

The Giants’ AFL team has experienced considerable success establishing Canberra as their second home by playing three games a season at Manuka Oval.

These games are regularly sold-out and Horner said this had provided a good example for the NNL franchise to follow.

“They’ve been very successful in establishing the Giants as Canberra’s team and we’ve been speaking with Netball NSW about trying to do something similar. We hope it can work in the same way,” Horner said.

Former NSW Swifts stars Kim Green and Susan Pettitt will join the Giants for their inaugural season, alongside English internationals Jo Harten and Serena Guthrie, as well as recent Australian Diamond debutant Kristiana Manu’a. Julie Fitzgerald will coach the team.

No Canberra players were selected in the initial team but Horner said it was a “long-term vision” to eventually do so.

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