Suncorp Super Netball

Players, clubs determined to finish SSN season: Netball Australia CEO

It has been revealed by Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan that despite concerns around welfare, both players and clubs were clear they wanted to finish the season.

After a raft of new restrictions was announced by Victoria and South Australia, Suncorp Super Netball remains on the move to avoid COVID-19.

Instead of finishing the season inside an Adelaide Hub, the competition was largely moved to Brisbane last night to ensure it can be completed.

Despite the move, GIANTS Netball remains in South Australia, meanwhile, Swifts coach Briony Akle, a team physio and Firebird Tippah Dwan are in isolation after exposure to Tier 1 cases in Victoria.

CEO Ryan said the number one priority has been listening to the players.

“Our number one objective has been to continue the Suncorp Super Netball season – that has been loud and clear particularly from our players who just desperately want to play and want to continue the season,” she said.

“As part of our decision-making process, it has been at the forefront in terms of what our players are prepared to continue to do.

“As a collective, with the support and endorsement of every team’s CEO and the Netball Players Association, we decided that Queensland was most definitely the best option for us.”

A pause in the competition is one of the current scenarios on the table as a condensed fixture is set to be created when play can resume.

While a majority of the league is now or travelling to, in Queensland, questions remain over the viability of the season as GIANTS Netball remains in lockdown in Adelaide.

CEO Ryan said the situation would be monitored as yesterday’s priority was ensuring most players and staff could get to Brisbane.

“[GIANTS Netball, Swifts coach Briony Akle and team physio] didn’t make it on the plane due to information we received about them potentially being implication to an exposure site,” she said.

“We haven’t been in a position to verify all the information that was critical at the time. It is an abundance of caution, we decided to keep them in Adelaide until we found time to have those discussions.

“[We’re having] talks right now about what options we have, without sacrificing health advice.”

All players and officials have been tested for COVID-19 three times since arriving in Adelaide and it appears testing will continue.

An update on the season’s fixtures will be made soon.

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