Linking up with Southern Steel team a ‘surreal feeling’

George Fisher. Photo: Getty Images
George Fisher. Photo: Getty Images
George Fisher is well aware of what she has arrived to.

The English goal shooter has watched the Southern Steel on television for years.

She saw the side win its two premierships in 2017 and 2018.

And she is very conscious of the great goal shooters that have come before her.

It is all making it very surreal for the 22-year-old, who arrived in Invercargill to link with the Steel this week.

After completing two weeks in isolation, she joined the squad at its pre-season tournament in Otaki on Saturday.

She had a great first impression of the team and was enjoying Invercargill so far as well.

It is something that has been years in the making, too.

Fisher, who made her debut for the England Roses as a 17-year-old, has always wanted to come to New Zealand.

Having just completed a three-year sports studies degree at the University of
Hertfordshire, the timing lined up well.

She had got on a Zoom call with Steel coach Reinga Bloxham and everything fell into place.

After trying to watch every ANZ Premiership game during lockdown last year, being in New Zealand had a little extra significance.

"It’s like a surreal feeling," Fisher said.

"That first game day is going to be so crazy.

"You know when you watch something on TV and then you go out and do it yourself?

"It’s going to be pretty surreal but such an awesome thing at the same time."

Alongside getting on with the coaching staff, she said the Steel’s history had been a factor in wanting to join the team.

Notably she knew she was joining a list of exceptional players to wear the team’s goal shooter bib.

Among those were Jamaican star Jhaniele Fowler, who scored 3374 goals in 71 matches for the team, as well as South African Lenize Potgieter.

Both cast a big shadow, but Fisher hoped to emulate their deeds.

"I think it’s really exciting.

"I loved watching especially Lenize when she came here and I just watched her become an amazing player, not that she wasn’t before but her game was awesome.

"I was just like ‘I want that’, so hopefully I don’t do too bad."

Fisher was living in a player house with Sarahpheinna Woulf and Ali Wilshier and said it was good to have some familiar faces in town.

She hoped she would be able to partner with the likes of Wilshier and Tiana Metuarau, who liked to feed the ball straight into the circle.

Alongside being able to haul in those passes, she hoped to bring some of her own flair to the team.

Fisher will get her first opportunity to do that on April 18, when the Steel faces the Mainland Tactix in Invercargill in its season opener.

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