The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel has been forced to initiate its contingency plan due to Covid-19 ahead of this weekend’s ANZ Premiership double header.
The Steel is scheduled to play the Splice Construction Magic in Rotorua on Saturday before taking on the Te Wānaga o Raukawa Pulse in Wellington on Monday night. However, the team will be without defender Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and midcourter Ali Wilshier along with head coach Reinga Bloxham and manager Dayna Kaio, who are all in isolation.
Assistant coach Jo Morrison will step up to the helm with former captain Wendy Frew taking on the assistant coach role for the Magic contest before she joins the Sky Sport commentary team for the Pulse clash. Former Steel training partner Kate Hartley will manage the team.
“Knowing this season would throw us challenges we haven’t had to deal with before, we have planned for moments like these,” Bloxham said.
“Jo will be well supported with the expertise of Wendy who understands the demands and what’s required to compete at this level. She will lead the defence end while supporting Jo throughout.
“Kate has managed our team previously and is efficient in what she does. Dayna has documents for every minute over the weekend so Kate will follow all instructions explicitly. It’s an awesome opportunity for both of them and we are lucky to have such amazing replacements.”
Steel chief executive Lana Winders was excited to see the new-look management team in action.
“Jo is fully immersed in the Steel environment as our assistant coach and will relish this opportunity to drive the ship across the back-to-back away games this weekend,” she said.
“How fortunate are we Wendy was able to step in to back Jo up. It feels so right to have Wendy back with the Steel and her netball experience at this level will be invaluable to the players.
“For someone so young Kate Hartley is already proven in the vital team manager role, having stepped into the breach in 2021 at the Otaki preseason. Dayna knows her stuff and Kate will have her on a hotline, although Dayna is confident Kate won’t need it.”
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