Shock move that’ll make new league ‘world’s best’
NETBALL: Next year’s new national competition, in which a Sunshine Coast team is expected to play will have no import restrictions like that of the current ANZ Championships.
With the trans-Tasman series set to be scrapped for an eight all-Australian team competition, Chief Executive of Netball Australia Kate Palmer confirmed clubs would have open slather on international stars.
But she stressed that Australia had a “high proportion of the world’s best players” and expects a majority of players in the competition would come through traditional pathways.
In the current competition, all teams are able to contract one import player in the 12-woman squad.
Netball Australia said it was likely the core squads in the new-look competition would be reduced to 10.
“The introduction of the new league and entry of three new teams provides for an opportunity for more Australian athletes to play in the premier domestic competition,” Palmer said.
“But if we want to be the best competition in the world, we need to look further afield, and welcome the world’s best athletes to our competition.
“We’d love to have athletes from all regions of the world participate. We’re certainly looking closely at Africa and Asia, as we saw some remarkable talent from those countries during last year’s netball World Cup.”
Netball Australia is said to be working closely with the five existing ANZ Championship teams and the three preferred bidders, with the new licences for next year’s competition expected to be finalised on July 31.
Details on athlete contracting and player payments could be announced shortly after.