Long-serving Splice Construction Magic midcourter Samantha Winders has put the icing on a special 2021 with her inclusion in the Silver Ferns team for January’s Vitality Netball International Quad Series in England.
Just days ago, the livewire little midcourt general was acknowledged by her peers and coaches as the Silver Ferns Player of the Year on the back of a stellar 2021 international campaign.
Lifting to new levels in 2021, the ever-present Winders, 26, was just one of three Silver Ferns to play in all seven internationals against the Australian Diamonds and England Roses this year to help cement her place in the tour team.
``You just can’t take anything for granted. It’s exciting every time you get an opportunity to go away and what makes this even more exciting is that we get to go overseas,’’ Winders said after being named in the 14-strong team.
``No one has been able to go overseas much in recent times and while we probably won’t see much when we’re in the UK, it’s cool to know that we definitely are going to get some international games and just some really good preparation for the Commonwealth Games (Birmingham, July 2022).’’
First selected in 2017, Winders has played 44 tests for the Silver Ferns and will be joined on the tour by fellow midcourter and new Magic team-mate Claire Kersten.
``Claire’s such a solid player and I’m excited to be playing with her from next year at the Magic and now going on tour with her as well,’’ Winders said.
Having played most of her internationals at home, rock-solid midcourter Kersten is delighted to be named in the Silver Ferns team for a rare overseas tour.
``Apart from the 2018 Commonwealth Games, this is my first time overseas with the Silver Ferns, so this will be a new experience, not just for me, but lots of the team,’’ she said.
``It will be a different feel for everyone because of what it looks like with Covid-19 but I’m really looking forward to it.’’
In a rapid-fire series, the Silver Ferns will play Australia, England and South Africa in London between January 16 – 19 with the play-offs being held the next day.