Three Australian teams first-up for Kia Magic

Press Release September 2, 2014

Kia Magic coach Julie Fitzgerald is unfazed about the prospect of meeting Australian opponents in the first three rounds of next year’sANZ Championship netball competition.

The Waikato/Bay of Plenty team will travel to Adelaide to open their account against 2013 champions the Thunderbirds followed up by home matches in Tauranga against the NSW Swifts and reigning champions the Melbourne Vixens respectively.

``You can never read too much into how the draw will affect the season. You’ve got to play everybody the same amount of times home and away, so we don’t have any issues with the draw,’’ Fitzgerald said.

``I don’t mind meeting three Australian teams first-up. We’ve probably got the best record against the Australian sides of any team in New Zealand. You’ve got to play them at some stage so it doesn’t really worry me if we have to play them first.’’

An away trans-Tasman double-header in the middle stages of the competition against the Queensland Firebirds (Brisbane) and West Coast Fever (Perth), and the associated travel logistics, will probably mean Magic staying on in Australia for the respective round eight and nine matches.

``The draw is the draw. We have no complaints, you’ve got to play everyone at some stage and we’ve just got to get on with it,’’ Fitzgerald said. ``But we will probably look at staying on (in Australia) for that section of the draw with the amount of travel that it is likely to entail.’’

Other features of the draw released today include a new venue and a Friday night match for the first time, between the Fever and Firebirds.

Blenheim comes on board as the 21st city to host an ANZ Championship match since the competition began in 2008 and will host two of the Tactix home games.
The 2015 season will begin on February 28 and remains a traditional 14-week fixture. The eighth season of the trans-Tasman competition has been brought forward to ensure the regular season can be completed before the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney.
A decision is expected by the end of the month on the introduction of a proposed new Conference Finals Series model for 2015.                                                                                                        

Magic have six home games next year, three in Hamilton, two in Tauranga and one in Rotorua and will be on the road for seven.

On individual training programmes at the moment, all of the Magic squad will be back living in Hamilton early in the New Year in readiness for the new season.

Magic draw for 2015:

February 28: Thunderbirds vs Magic, Adelaide

March 9: Magic vs Swifts, Tauranga

March 15: Magic vs Vixens, Tauranga

March 22: Magic vs Tactix, Hamilton

March 30: Pulse vs Magic, Wellington

April 5: Magic vs Mystics, Rotorua

April 11: Steel vs Magic, Invercargill

April 18: Firebirds vs Magic, Brisbane

April 26: Fever vs Magic (Perth)

May 1-3: Magic – bye

May 10: Magic vs Steel, Hamilton

May 18: Mystics vs Magic, Auckland

May 25: Magic vs Pulse, Hamilton

May 31: Tactix vs Magic, Christchurch





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