Due to the recent lockdown that has been announced in South Australia, the Super Netball has made the decision to resume the competition in Queensland.
It was announced last week that the plan was to play as much of the home and away season in South Australia but with the lockdown announced earlier today, Netball Australia has been forced to shift to plan B.
Yesterday evening it was announced that the state was going to go in to level four restrictions which put the season in jeopardy.
The West Coast Fever, Sunshine Coast Lightning and Queensland Firebirds were all still in their respective home states and struggled to gain entry into South Australia.
With the priority for Netball Australia officials being able to have teams play and train with the least amount of restrictions, South Australia very quickly proved to no longer be a viable option.
This evening the Swifts, Vixens, Magpies and Thunderbirds are headed to the airport to make the trip up north.
The Giants remain in South Australia due to having been linked to a tier one exposure site.
The Swifts travelled without head coach Briony Akle as well as the team physio, who are also isolating in Adelaide after being identified as close contacts of patrons who attended a Tier 1 exposure site in Melbourne last week.
The Swifts have confirmed that assistant coach Bec Bulley will oversee the netball preparations in Akle’s absence.
Nikki Horton, Executive General Manager of the Swifts, said the immediate thoughts of the club were with Akle, the team physio and their families.
“Briony and our support team have already given so much to the Swifts’ campaign so far this year and we really feel for them at this time,” Horton said.
“Both Briony and our physio have young kids with them, who will obviously remain with their mums in Adelaide, and we are working through how we can best support them all.
“This is a very unfortunate situation but it is our hope to get them back with the main group early next week, and Briony will still be in regular contact with the team once they settle in Queensland.
“We are fortunate to have such a brilliant assistant in Bec Bulley who is a champion of the game and a really inspiring individual for our players to look to in Briony’s absence.
“I would also like to make a special mention of our playing group who are relocating for the fifth time since being asked to leave Sydney last month.
“Despite all of the upheaval they are on the cusp of qualifying for another Finals Series and I know they’ll be really driven to win for Briony and everyone affected in the next round.”
The West Coast Fever will fly to Brisbane tomorrow.
The league is working through the fixture for the final three rounds of the season and will provide an update as soon as possible.
Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan said they are doing everything possible to complete the Suncorp Super Netball Season.
“We know how volatile the pandemic is in the community and we are doing everything we can to complete the Suncorp Super Netball season,” Ryan said.
“I’d like to thank all our stakeholders – our clubs, sponsors, broadcasters, umpires, staff and fans who continue to support our competition.”
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