31 Oct 2020

Steel coach impressed with new signing

5:14 pm on 31 October 2020

Southern Steel coach Reinga Bloxham is loving what she's seeing courtside from England Roses shooter George Fisher, who's heading to the ANZ Premiership franchise next year.

England's George Fisher in action against Silver Ferns 2020.

England's George Fisher in action against the Silver Ferns 2020. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fisher has been impressive in her two halves of netball in the first two Tests against the Silver Ferns. Last night she put up 17 goals with 100 percent shooting accuracy.

Bloxham is in the Silver Ferns' camp this week as an apprentice coach and was excited she was able to see her new signing up close.

"And I think she's putting her hand up in terms of her ability to shoot and go to post, like her accuracy yesterday was just outstanding and it's nice to see her muscle up against the physicality of our defence and not shy away from that.

"That was something that we talked about when she was going to be coming to this competition so for her to experience that before she gets into ANZ is going to be vital for us going forward," said Bloxham.

"I think she's going to be a bit of a super star for us and I hope she's going to add something different. She's very vibrant in what she's doing and she's going to stamp her mark on the competition but I think she will definitely add value to our team."

When the Steel lost Georgia Heffernan and Jen O'Connell to ACL injuries this year, Bloxham looked within New Zealand first for potential shooters.

"But then she [Fisher] approached us and when I was watching her clips and things I thought she could be somebody who could be quite handy.

"She's nice and tall, she's very agile for a very tall person, she's got safe hands and a beautiful shot so it wasn't hard to see what she could add to our team especially losing those two shooters during the season."

The 1.88m Fisher will join Tiana Metuarau and Kiana Pelasio in filling out a new-look shooting circle for the team.

Southern Steel coach Reinga Bloxham working with Noeline Taurua

Southern Steel coach Reinga Bloxham working with Noeline Taurua again in 2018. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2016 www.photosport.nz

Reliable Trinidad and Tobago shooter Kalifa McCollin, who spent this year at the Steel, recently signed with the Collingwood Magpies in the Australian competition.

Bloxham also had a spell as an apprentice coach a couple of years ago under Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua.

She said she enjoyed learning about the environment at the next high performance level and contributing to off court discussions with Dame Noeline and assistant coach Debbie Fuller.

She said the week had reiterated how demanding the top level was.

"The way that the series is structured and the prep that they've done coming in it's been quite full on and I imagine that when they finish they're [players and coaches] going to be extremely exhausted.

"It just sort of shows how much they can cram into a short amount of time and how resilient the players and also the management team are at building to these competitions to make sure that they are prepared best going forward."

Despite winning the first two Tests to claim the Taini Jamison trophy, Bloxham said there was a feeling the Silver Ferns had more to give and they were looking to dominate their opposition more.

"In saying that I think that this English side has really surprised a lot of us in how well they've prepared, they've done their homework and what they've brought to the game and it's been really exciting to see that competition out there."