Crampton turns attention Steel

Gina Crampton
Gina Crampton
Back to summer and back to the Southern Steel.

Gina Crampton is enjoying both, having rejoined the team in Central Otago alongside midcourt partner Shannon Saunders on Monday.

The duo arrived back just in time for the Steel’s pre-season matches against the Mainland Tactix and Central Pulse.

Yesterday it was beaten 65-41 by the Tactix in an invitation-only match in Alexandra.

This morning, it will play the Central Pulse at the Queenstown Events Centre at 9am.

Crampton and Saunders are not lacking netball.

They have returned from a successful Nations Cup campaign with the Silver Ferns in England.

However, there was still a bit to adjust to as they slot back in with the rest of the squad.

‘‘It’s a bit of a challenge in that you don’t really know what’s been going on and you’re not sure where everyone’s at,’’ Crampton said.

‘‘I’ve got to realign myself with the Steel game plan and all that sort of stuff.

‘‘But aside from that, the group of people we’ve got is great and I think people are just able to slot in and out as they’re required, which is cool.’’

Crampton said the tour had been a good one and felt the side played a ‘‘good brand’’ of netball.

She added it had been great to do that after the uncertainty of how the Silver Ferns would go in the absence of much of its experience.

For Crampton, that brought a promotion to vice-captain, alongside Jane Watson.

‘‘I think that’s showing my age; I’ll be the next fossil or something.

‘‘It was cool, it was a good experience.

‘‘To be honest, it was pretty easy. Jane and I just had to support Meals [captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio] in her role.

‘‘She did really well; she took it with both hands. Initially I think she was a wee bit shocked, but she did really well.

‘‘She was just herself and I think that’s the best thing she could have done.

‘‘It made Jane and I’s job really easy.’’

While much of Crampton’s experience came in a support role, that will no doubt be valuable.

She returns to lead the Steel alongside Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit for a second year.

She felt the Steel had made some ‘‘exciting’’ additions to bring some extra energy to the group.

Meanwhile, for the remainder of the side, it was a case of not getting stuck in its ways.

‘‘We need to make sure we’re learning all the time, we’re growing and we’re adaptable in the way we play.

‘‘We’re pretty stock standard. We like to look after the ball, and I guess people call us a bit boring sometimes.

‘‘But if it works, it works, and hopefully we can bring some exciting things into the mix and play some good netball.’’

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