Best players in NZ heading south

Who better to critique the ANZ Premiership sides than Southern fans?

The Southern Steel will host an inaugural Southern Showdown tournament in Dunedin next month, a preseason tournament featuring the Steel, Northern Mystics, Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, Central Pulse and Mainland Tactix at the Edgar Centre.

The Northern Stars are the only team not making the trip south.

Steel chief executive Sonya Fleming is eagerly anticipating a weekend of elite netball action.

"One of the best things about preseason games is the unknown," Fleming said.

"It’s not uncommon for teams to keep their cards close to their chest, so to speak, and that adds an exciting new dynamic. Often, it’s a chance for fans to see combinations which are being tested.

"The stars of New Zealand netball will be converging on the south for a weekend of action and we’re rapt to be able to showcase our sport allow our netball community the chance to see it all unfold."

The Steel linked up last month for the start of their preseason training and Fleming was impressed by the potential she already saw emerging among the group.

"There’s something truly special about the start of any campaign as you witness those connections and team values being cemented," Fleming said.

"The final piece will be taking the court against our opposition at the Southern Showdown to see how we stack up.

"It would be amazing to do that in front of a parochial home crowd."

The Southern Showdown will be held over three days on March 22-24.

Defending champions the Mystics will face the Pulse, and Steel take on southern neighbours the Tactix on the opening day. On Saturday it is the Steel v Mystics, Magic v Pulse, Steel v Magic and Tactix v Pulse, before the tournament ends on Sunday with the Tactix v Magic and Steel v Pulse.

Tickets for the preseason tournament went on sale yesterday.