Netball: Shooting star with plenty of promise

Otago shooter Greir Campbell made an impressive debut for the province last week, helping her...
Otago shooter Greir Campbell made an impressive debut for the province last week, helping her side beat Waikato 60-53 in a national championship game in Dunedin. Photo by Jane Dawber.
It has been a big year for Otago goal shoot Greir Campbell.

The 19-year-old helped the province win the inaugural Lois Muir Challenge earlier this year, then backed up to help the under-21 side win the national age group championship.

Last weekend she made an impressive debut for the Otago national championship team, landing 43 of her 51 attempts at goal to help seal a 60-53 win over Waikato.

"I was a wee bit [nervous] but it wasn't too bad," she said.

Campbell is something of a rarity these days.

She is born and bred in Dunedin and playing for Otago is not just something she plans to do during her university years.

The colours actually mean something.

Campbell started playing netball as a 5-year-old and, while at Otago Girls High School, she played basketball and cricket against the likes of dual international Suzie Bates.

She also tried her hand at volleyball but netball commitments have taken over since leaving high school.

Campbell is in her second year of a teaching degree and balances her study with her ever-increasing netball demands.

Her mother, Michelle Poelstra, has been the biggest influence on her netball career, she said.

But had it not been for some persistent nagging she might still be a frustrated shooter stuck in the defensive circle.

"I use to be a defender until I begged her to put me into shoot."

At 1.83m, Campbell is not that tall by today's standards for the sport.

"I'm not short for a shooter but I'm not tall either."

To compensate, Campbell has to play a more mobile game and get into space for her feeders. She is also not afraid to mix it up.

"I need to get aggressive. The game has got more physical so if you are going to get pushed around, well, I'm not going to take it."

She is feisty, and it is a family trait.

"All my family is really competitive."

Campbell's brother, Brett Campbell, plays for the Green Island premier rugby side and has played for Otago Maori.

Her father, Stewart Campbell, is a horse trainer and her mother played club netball.

Campbell will need to muster all of that competitiveness this evening.

Otago play Auckland Waitakere in Auckland and the North Islanders have called former Silver Ferns defender Anna Scarlett back into the side.

Scarlett captained the side to victory last year but did not play in the ANZ Championship because she wanted to concentrate on her volleyball career.

Whether Scarlett plays in the defence circle and marks Campbell or not remains uncertain.

The rumour is the former Otago Rebel player may make a surprise appearance in the shooting circle. Both teams have players on duty with the New Zealand under-21 side.

Otago is the worst hit with defenders Hannah Broederlow, Jess Moulds and Jamie Power, and midcourter Camilla Lees unavailable.

Otago coach Georgie Salter has called in veteran Megan Parke, Stephanie Brenssell and Claire Kersten.

The trio have been training with Otago in readiness for this fixture. Auckland has lost shooters Grace Rasmussen and Susan Tagicakibau. Scarlett and Kiri Wills come into the 12.


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