An open border policy on international netball stars has created a fresh and entertaining dynamic in Australia’s new domestic league.
After separating from the ANZ and creating even more Australian teams the Super Netball league is well under way and 16 players from eight other countries are making a mark in the inaugural year of the Super Netball domestic league.
Players from England (seven), New Zealand (two), Jamaica, Scotland, Trinidad and Tobago, Malawi, and South Africa are spread across seven teams – and these players have shown they’re not here to make up the numbers.
Sunshine Coast Lightning and England captain Geva Mentor leads the competition for the most deflections (21) and Sunshine Girl Malysha Kelly has taken the most intercepts (10) playing for the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Four of the competition’s top six goal scorers hail from overseas and are in dominant form.
Queensland Firebirds’ Jamaican Romelda Aiken has the second-most goals with 125 after signing off as the all-time leading goal scorer of the defunct trans-Tasman league.
The Lightning remain undefeated on the back of sharp shooter Caitlin Bassett’s 141 goals and Collingwood’s go-to girl Caitlin Thwaites isn’t far behind in third (121 goals).
NSW Swifts’ Trinidad and Tobago import Sam Wallace secured a valuable draw against the Melbourne Vixens with a goal on the buzzer last week to rank fourth (112 goals).
Rounding out the top six are Western Sydney Giants’ English shooter Jo Harten (99 goals) and Melbourne Vixens’ Malawi Queen Mwai Kumwenda (96 goals).
Giants centre Serena Guthrie expects her performance to improve as the season progresses, both here and for England.
“It’s the best league in the world over here, so it’s great to get that hard fast competitive netball week in week out,” Guthrie told AAP.
“Your game does improve being over here, it does help us massively when we do go back into international (netball) for sure.”