Otago's Te Paea Selby-Rickit (left) and Southland's Te
Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit competing at the national age group
championships in Dunedin in July. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Otago shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit has been named in the
Steel squad alongside New Zealand under-21 and Canterbury
shooter Sophia Fenwick.
The inexperienced pair will join Silver Ferns shooter Daneka
Wipiiti and Paula Griffin, who has moved south from the
Wellington-based Central Pulse in a bid to reclaim her spot
in the national team.
The most notable omission from the team which reached the
playoffs this season is the captain Megan Dehn.
The franchise had hoped the goal attack would qualify to play
for the Steel as a New Zealand resident, but the former
Australian international ran into difficulties obtaining
According to The New Zealand Herald, Dehn is set to
be named in the Northern Mystics squad when the teams are
The Mystics have taken advantage of Dehn's citizenship
difficulties and were able to secure the veteran.
Dehn said after failing to secure her residency she was
considering retiring, but Mystics captain Temepara George
convinced her to make the move to Auckland for one last
With the Steel's overseas slot filled with Australian
midcourter Natasha Chokljat, and back-up shooter Julianna
Naoupu lured away by the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, the
combined Otago-Southland team will have to rely heavily on
Wipiiti and Griffin to carry the scoring responsibilities.
While Selby-Rickit and Fenwick are rated highly, the young
pair are light on experience.
Selby-Rickit is just 18 and 17-year-old Fenwick is still at
The ANZ Championship is not the place for development, but if
injury strikes, the Steel will be forced to call on one of
That is a worry for coach Robyn Broughton, who told the Otago
Daily Times earlier in the week she believed the franchise
made a mistake signing Chokljat before it had secured Dehn's
services for next year.
However, the addition of Chokljat does give the Steel
midcourt a more solid look.
The Invercargill-based team was well-served at both ends but
struggled in the centre, where it lacked the dynamism of some
of the other teams.
Steel chief executive Julie Paterson said the decision to
recruit Chokljat was made in consultation with Dehn, who
initially indicated she was considering retiring.
"When Megan later confirmed she was keen to play another
season, we were obviously keen to have her," Paterson said.
"While the outcome is obviously not the one we desired, we
have to move on and we are looking forward to the exciting
challenges ahead in 2011."
Selby-Rickit could not be reached for comment but Fenwick, a
year 13 student at Rangi Ruru Girls' School in Christchurch,
said she was very excited to secure a Steel contract.
"It's a great opportunity and I'm really looking forward to
it," she said.
"There are some really great names in there. It will be
awesome to play alongside them."
Fenwick has been part of the Canterbury national championship
side for the past two years and has also played for the New
Zealand Secondary School team.
Selby-Rickit is no stranger to the Steel.
She was called into the squad this year when Wipiiti was
unavailable due to injury.
Her older sister Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit has been a member
of the squad for the past three years and, with Silver Fern
goal keep Leana de Bruin, leads an impressive defensive
line-up which includes former international Sheryl Scanlan.
Silver Fern Liana Barrett-Chase and Wendy Frew return to
round out a talented midcourt which includes Otago player
Liana Barrett-Chase, Erika Burgess, Natasha Chokljat, Leana
de Bruin, Sophia Fenwick, Wendy Frew, Paula Griffin, Hayley
Saunders, Sheryl Scanlan, Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, Te Paea
Selby-Rickit, Daneka Wipiiti.