2010 ANZ Championship transfer period
|2010 ANZ Championship season|
|Number of teams||10|
|TV partner(s)||One HD (Australia)
Network Ten (Australia)
SKY Sports (NZ)
|2010 ANZ Championship season|
|Minor premiers||New South Wales Swifts|
|Runners-up||Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic|
|Season MVP||Liana Leota|
|Top scorer||Carla Borrego|
The 2010 ANZ Championship season was the third season of the ANZ Championship, commencing on 20 March. The 2010 season started two weeks earlier than in previous years to accommodate the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, in which netball is a core sport. 69 matches were played over 17 weeks, including an initial 14-week round-robin stage, followed by a three-week finals stage. Several rule changes were also implemented in the 2010 season.
After 14 weeks of round-robin competition, the Swifts emerged undefeated as minor premiers, progressing to the finals stage with the Thunderbirds, Magic and Steel. But the Thunderbirds progressed to the grand final, inflicting the first loss of the season for the Swifts, who lost the preliminary final to the Magic one week later. The grand final was contested on 11 July in Adelaide between the Thunderbirds and Magic. In front of a capacity crowd, the Thunderbirds defeated the Magic by 52–42 to emerge as champions for the 2010 season.
The 2010 ANZ Championship season, the third year of the competition was expected to be the best yet. Teams organised their franchises, and then went on the hunt to poach opposition players. There was excitement on both sides of the Tasman.
The Northern Mystics made the most changes to their squad from by keeping four of their twelve members from last year's squad. They were Samoan international shooter Catherine Latu (ineligible player), Silver Fern midfielder and Mystics captain Temepara George, Grace Rasmussen, and Finau Pulu. The Mystics signed Maria Tutaia and Joline Henry from Waikato/BOP Magic as well as Larrissa Willcox from the Canterbury Tactix. The Mystics also signed an import player, Althea Byfield, Jamaican international player who played for Central Pulse in 2009. In addition, the Mystics managed to sign former Silver Ferns player Jenny-May Coffin out of retirement and a couple of young players to their side. With these changes to their side, it also meant that eight members were not in the team including England shooter Pamela Cookey opted not to play as she decided to play in the English Netball Superleague and former Silver Fern and Fiji international Villi Davu.
The Waikato/BOP Magic made some changes to their side by picking up Jodi Brown from the Tactix and Australian international and World 7 player Peta Scholz out of retirement to replace Maria Tutaia and Joline Henry who opted to play for the Mystics. The Magic also lost Leana de Bruin to the Steel and two other players Halana Leith and Nicola Pettit, both played in both 2008 and 2009 seasons. During the season, the Magic lost Peta Scholz due to knee injury and ruled her out for the remainder of the season. As a result, the team managed to replace her with England international Jade Clarke. The team kept their Silver Ferns players Irene van Dyk, Laura Langman (captain). Casey Williams and Samoan international Frances Solia (ineligible player).
The Central Pulse lost Althea Byfield to the Mystics and replaced her with English import Ama Agbeze (import player) from Melbourne Vixens and Adelaide Thunderbirds bench player and former Australian international Jane Altschwager (captain and import player). They also gained Silver Fern defender Katrina Grant from the Southern Steel, to form a nice looking team. The team also features Silver Fern shooter Paula Griffin, and midcourter Camilla Lees. During the season, while Katrina Grant was out with injury, they managed to replace her with former Mystics player Rachel Rasmussen. With Rasmussen included to their team, they managed to have close games including the infamous draw against the Mystics and their second win in ANZ Championship history against the Canterbury Tactix.
At the Canterbury Tactix, the retirement of captain Julie Seymour left the red and black's midcourt in all sorts of trouble. In addition, they lost Jodi Brown to the Magic and Sonia Mkoloma to the New South Wales Swifts. The Tactix managed to gain Southlander Hayley Crofts, but made no impact. They initially signed out of favour Queensland Firebirds defender Peta Stephens, but an injury ruled her out of contention. As a result, they gained Australian player Chelsea Pitman who previously played for the Swifts before the ANZ Championship. Unfortunately, during the season, the team had the most injuries. With these injuries, the Tactix were forced to bring back Angela Mitchell and Megan Hutton from retirement. They also tried to get England shooter Jo Harten to their lineup as a replacement player for Chelsea Pittman (from ACL) against the Mystics but failed.
And down south at the Southern Steel, after the retirements of star players Donna Wilkins, Adine Wilson and Megan Hutton, along with Katrina Grant moving north, it left the Steel in trouble too. They still pulled together a play off potential side. Former Silver Fern and Sting player Leana de Bruin was back from pregnancy and was pulled into the backline. With the re-signing of internationals Daneka Wipiiti, Megan Dehn, Liana Leota, Wendy Frew and Sheryl Scanlan, Steel still had high chances for 2010. During the season, Scanlan received an injury that ended her 2010 season.
Up north in Australia, the Queensland Firebirds answered their shooting problems, by snaring Australian Diamonds star Natalie Medhurst from the Adelaide Thunderbirds. She set up a wonderful combination with returning Jamaican import Romelda Aiken. In the Firebird's midcourt, Lauren Nourse led the way without Tamsin Greenway, but gained Vixens's Sarah Wall. In the Firebird's defence, both Peta Stephens and Demelza McCloud weren't included in the 2010 season, but they did gain Vixen's Amy Steel to partner with Australian defender Laura Geitz. Despite Greenway choosing to not return for a third year of ANZ Championships netball, the Firebirds pleaded to have her back to the team when Sarah Wall got a knee injury (ACL) against the Magic. But their efforts failed and were stuck with 11 members for the rest of the season. This ended up costing the Firebirds a spot in the top four for the third year in a row.
At the NSW Swifts, after having their worst performance in the last season, with many critics believing Selina Gilsenan's retirement was the reason for their weak defence, the Sydney club picked up touring, English defender Sonia Mkoloma, to give her a third franchise to play at. Mkoloma, again along with Catherine Cox, Susan Pratley, Kimberlee Green, and Rebecca Bulley were the key players to their line-up. The Swifts also gained AIS players Courtney Tairi and Ashleigh Brazill to add in youth to their team. However, the team lost Erin Bell to the Thunderbirds in hopes of gaining more court time in the ANZ Championship. Overall, the team still kept six of their seven members since the inaugural season naming them the most consistent team of them all. Before the season, Kimberley Borger was out due to injury and was replaced by former Jaegar player Lara Welham. During the season, the Swifts lost Vanessa Ware during training from ACL and was replaced with Kristy Guthrie (née Durheim).
The Melbourne Vixens opted against bringing in an import, resulting in Ama Agbeze playing for the Pulse. The 2009 champions kept consistency in their line up. Shooters Sharelle McMahon and Caitlin Thwaites, midcourter Natasha Chokljat and defenders Julie Corletto and Bianca Chatfield all inked again with the team. However, at times, injuries happened at crucial times, resulting in the lineup being changed consistently. Julie Corletto had a knee injury that had kept her out for most of the matches (especially in the second half of the season) with Queensland Firebirds defender Demelza McCloud. Also, Natasha Chokjat had a very bad ankle injury that sent her to the sidelines for half of the season, forcing the midcourt to shuffle around. In addition, Caitlin Thwaites form was questioned by the media in the article "Scratch Thwaites", written by former Australian international Eloise Southby-Halbish. Wendy Jones also returned to the team after suffering an injury in 2009.
At the Thunderbirds, coach Jane Woodlands-Thompson returned as coach, along with stars Natalie von Bertouch, Kate Beveridge, Mo'onia Gerrard and import Geva Mentor. After the loss of Medhurst, and which speculation since has arisen Woodlands-Thompson wanted rid of her, she was replaced by former netballer, turned basketball player Carla Borrego. The tall Jamaican would become a huge hit. The cash strapped West Coast Fever again kept their coach Jane Searle, and the core group of players.
There were no huge changes in the Perth teams line-up, apart from Leah Shoard returning to Australia, after a year with the Steel. However, the team did gained Thunderbirds player Bianca Reddy to replace the injured Josie Janz due to knee injury. The Fever also welcomed back tall shooter Janelle Lawson from the Firebirds.
- Southern Steel pick up De Bruin - TVNZ Smartphone - tvnz.co.nz- de Bruin heading South
- Firebirds thrilled with Medhurst boost - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)- Geitz happy with Medhurst move
- Star import Carla Borrego spurs title hopes | Adelaide Now- Thunderbirds thrilled with Borrego boost