Grant thriving on pressure of task ahead

Silver Ferns defender Katrina Grant (front and centre) in action at the Edgar Centre last night....
Silver Ferns defender Katrina Grant (front and centre) in action at the Edgar Centre last night. The other players are (from left) Kimiora Poi (with the ball), Ellie Bird and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Familiar surroundings are not easing the pressure on Katrina Grant - but that is what she thrives on.

The Silver Ferns captain is in Dunedin for a week-long camp with the team less than a month out from the Commonwealth Games.

Happy with the side's hit-out against the Mainland Tactix at the Edgar Centre yesterday, the defender was enjoying being back at what was once her home court.

She wore the blue and gold of the Otago Rebels in 2006 and 2007, followed by two years with the Southern Steel.

At that point it was all in front of the 30-year-old. However, this time around she is in the city to prepare for one of the most pressure-filled challenges of her career.

``I'm definitely not going to say no. Of course you feel the pressure, there's no doubt,'' she said.

``This is our team and we're trying to move forward and striving as much as possible.

``As a captain you're definitely at the forefront of everything. You want to win badly and if anything goes good or bad it's kind of on your shoulders.

``That's fine. I take that. It means I need to lead by example.

``I need to do my job first and foremost or it's not going to help anybody, so that's key.''

Of course that is easier said than done, especially following hefty losses by the Silver Ferns to England and Australia in January.

However, rather than being intimidated by it, Grant was using that expectation to her advantage.

``Everything's always tough in this kind of environment, especially at pinnacle events.

``But that's why we're here. I thrive on that kind of pressure.

``I absolutely love being part of competitive sport and I wouldn't be here otherwise.''

She felt the preparation had been going well so far, doing plenty of off-court work as well as on-court training.

That helped make sure everyone was on the same page. The side had also spent a lot of times running through different scenarios.

One key one was practising getting up early and training or playing, as its key pool match against England is to be played at 9am.

While acknowledging England was a key game, Grant said it was important to treat every game as a big one.

That meant trying not to think too far ahead, although she admitted it was hard to completely ignore Australia.

``First, we've got to get through our pool before we can think about Aussie.

``But Aussie's in the back of your mind. They're at the top at the moment and they're playing very, very good netball.

``They're going to be a tough team, but you know one game at a time we're going to get this.

``We need to win our pool to have any chance getting in there, but we want it pretty badly.''

The Silver Ferns play for the Taini Jamison Trophy on March 21-24

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