Netball New Zealand plan to keep the ANZ Premiership strictly home-grown and won’t be relaxing any overseas rulings anytime soon.

Since last year’s grand final when the Southern Steel beat the Central Pulse – the Silver Ferns have chalked up losses to England, Australia, Jamaica and Malawi.

Hardly it would seem a ringing endorsement for the national domestic competition.

Although Wyllie was not willing to discuss the impending review after the Silver Ferns failure to medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games she admits the future of the sport depends on the ANZ premiership being a successful breeding ground for Silver Fern players.

” Our sole purpose is to make sure that our New Zealand system is as strong as it can be,” says Wyllie.

“to invest in our talent to bring them through and ensure in time our Silver Ferns are as strong as possible.”

The veteran Australian netball commentator Sue Gaudion believes New Zealand’s being hindered by its refusal to let its players compete in overseas leagues.

The impact of former Silver Fern Laura Langman’s exclusion while playing in Australia’s domestic league is an example of how detrimental it was to New Zealand netball.

“The decision not to have Laura Langman at that time was critical of netball as a sport.” says Gaudion.

“Laura’s situation was so unique, she had already been playing in Australia there was an avenue for your sport – it was an opportunity missed.”

“It really has impacted New Zealand far greater than a lot of people could’ve imagined.”

Three quarters of England’s netball team which won gold on the Gold Coast have recently played offshore to upskill for their national side.

English captain Ama Agbeze who is contracted to the Northern Stars this season says she’s grateful her country shows more leniency.

“It depends on how powerful the players are and how powerful the organisation is.” says Agbeze.

“I am personally glad that England Netball let is play abroad.”

But Wyllie has no regrets and says the direction of the ANZ Premiership is clear.

“Both ourselves and Australia are very early in our on competition and whatever the outcome of having unlimited imports will play out in he next few years.” says Wyllie.

“For us our focus is on ourselves and breeding our next generation of elite New Zealand netballers.”

The competition begins in Palmerston North on Sunday with the opening matches featuring last year’s champions the Southern Steel playing the Northern Mystics, the Pulse against the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and the Northern Stars against the Mainland Tactix.

– RNZ

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