I believe this is a first

I believe this is a first2018-05-20T12:39:15+10:00
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      It was watching the splendid work of Casey Kopua and Anna Harrison in the ANZ in the last couple of weeks (thanks for the wonderful live streaming, NNZ) that I got to musing how valuable they would both have been to the Silver Ferns. No way would a Ferns team with Casey and Anna in it capitulate like the Ferns did at the CWG’s; of course the players were trying, but Kopua just adds that extra grit and passion and mongrel. Both of them are clearly fit enough and skilled enough to still play internationally, so why the hell weren’t they there? I think the post CWG’s review should ask that question, as well, of course as why Langman was ostracised. Would Anna and Casey have chosen to continue as Silver Ferns if there had been a different coach?

      The reason they gave for retiring internationally was the pressures of family, and we appear to have meekly accepted that excuse, but it makes no sense in NZ, where there have been enough player’s children to require a creche. They know how to incorporate children into a NZ team and still play at the highest level: Van Dyk did it for a dozen years, and George/Bailey and Barrett-Chase/Leota have probably played every international game as mothers. Add Julie Seymour, Jodi Brown, Anna Harrison, De Bruin and numerous other mothers I have forgotten, and you come to the conclusion that there has never been a Ferns team without a mother in it. This time there was only Ekenasio, and two mothers who would have been brilliant options not included. Is there an attitude held by current Ferns management that makes it harder for mothers to play than it used to be?

      Meanwhile, across the ditch, Laura Geitz demonstrated that maybe Australia has finally got the attitudes and processes sorted to properly encourage and include mothers. We need more, yes, but it’s a very good start. So, while Australia is on the up, there are signs that NZ might be on the slide with their inclusion of mothers. That would be such a shame.

      So, we know that there were a lot of ‘firsts’ at the CWG’s for the Ferns which they and their fans did not enjoy, and having exactly the same number of mothers in their team as Australia is another first they should not be happy about.

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