Steel prepared to take time to find replacement for Kelly

Malysha Kelly
Malysha Kelly
The Southern Steel is not rushing to find a replacement for Jamaican defender Malysha Kelly.

The 28-year-old import has been ruled out for the season after rupturing the ACL in her left knee at training last Tuesday.

While that has left the Steel a player short, coach Reinga Bloxham said the team would make sure it found the right player - rather than finding one quickly.

With Kelly being the side's import, an overseas players could be an option - although Bloxham said it would look at local and domestic options as well.

That meant both the upcoming Taini Jamison Trophy and Commonwealth Games would be chances to scout, if a replacement was not found sooner.

Indeed those tournaments were already having an impact on the team and were part of Bloxham's thinking to not jump straight into anything.

``To be honest, we definitely aren't going to rush into anything. We're definitely going to take our time,'' she said.

``Just with where we're at at this time of the season and Commonwealth Games coming up, it's quite a disruptive time for those players coming in and out of the international arena.

``Our Silver Ferns are in and out and the other international players who are in other franchise teams are doing the same thing.

``So it's quite difficult to look for people when they're coming and going, I suppose.''

Despite not being in a rush, Bloxham did admit it would be good to get someone in as soon as possible in order to integrate them into the Steel system.

``Ideally it would be right now [that we would bring them in].

``Because we've still got another six to eight weeks of pre-season.

``That's still plenty of time when you say it like that, but in that time we've got the Comonwealth Games which basically takes up all of April.

``It would be good to get someone in as soon as we can.''

Young shooter Jennifer O'Connell has experience at the defensive end, although it was unlikely she would be used to plug the hole.

Bloxham said while it was terrible news for the team, it was even more devastating for Kelly.

Not only would she miss the season with the Steel, she would miss Jamaica's Commonwealth Games campaign.

Meanwhile, captain Wendy Frew was tracking well as she continues her comeback after a ruptured achilles in the last game of last season.

She had been doing some drills with the team and, if she kept progressing well, was a chance of playing the first game of the ANZ Premiership on May 6.


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