You’d be hard pressed to find anyone prouder than Angee Shand when the NZ Men’s netball team lines up against the Silver Ferns later this month.
The inclusion of a Men’s Invitational team to contest the Cadbury Netball Series provides a valuable opportunity for the players to showcase their talent and passion for the sport.
For Shand, whose involvement with the Men’s side of the code now spans over two decades, it’s a milestone to celebrate.
“For the men to have the opportunity to compete on the international stage is fantastic and testament to how netball continues to evolve,” she said.
“These guys are incredibly passionate about netball and their skills are unbelievable. I’m really proud everyone will finally get to see that during the series and hopefully this will be the first of many at this elite level.”
Along with the Noeline Taurua-coached Ferns, the Men will also face off against an All Stars team and the Fiji Pearls in Auckland from June 26-29.
It’s the last public hit out for the Ferns before heading to Liverpool for the Netball World Cup in July and the Men’s team no doubt holds great appeal as tough opponents.
Height is a growing factor in the international game and the Men’s team brings six players over 1.9m to the four-day series, including towering Auckland-born shooter Junior Levi who stands at 2.18m alongside fellow goal scorer Daniel Jefferies at 2m.
Media and marketing officer for the New Zealand Men’s and Mixed Netball Association (NZMMNA), Shand will also act as team manager for the series – a role she has held previously with various NZ Men’s Open and Under 23 teams in the past.
“I get to work with some incredibly talented netball players – who just happen to be male. They are outstanding athletes,” Shand said.
“MZMMNA couldn’t be more and proud as an administration. We are here after a long history of male players forging their way in a sport they love.”
The Netball South Zone board member and former Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel team manager has an impressive resume in the sport.
Since 2008, she’s dedicated nine years to the NZMMNA board and was awarded a Service Award in 2015.
On the local scene, Shand managed the Southland Men’s team from 1998 to 2016 and has been president of the association since 2015 – an organisation she played an integral part in creating.
“It’s nice to be able to represent Southland on this prestigious occasion. I’ll be wearing my star-shaped earrings on the bench which were a gift from the Southland Mens’ team and also symbolise my club team, the All Stars.”
A player, manager, selector and coach at a variety of levels, the St Mary’s Netball Club life member is often recruited as a statistician for Sky Sport’s ANZ Premiership coverage