After a drama-filled pre-season coupled with so much uncertainty surrounding the health pandemic, the 2020 Super Netball season will officially begin this weekend, but not without some last minute alterations to the schedule.
Giants Netball were due to take on West Coast Fever at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday before shifting to Queensland for the rest of the season.
But the Queensland Government’s shock decision to close the border to greater Sydney residents from Saturday has forced the Giants to relocate north immediately.
They will vacate Sydney within 24 hours.
Instead of playing the Fever, the Giants will now play the NSW Swifts in their season opener at Nissan Arena in Brisbane on Sunday.
The Swifts will also relocate to Queensland immediately.
Netball NSW CEO Carolyn Campbell said she was hopeful the Giants would return to Sydney to play home matches later this year.
“We are firstly very disappointed for our Giants and Swifts members who were really looking forward to seeing both our teams at their new home of Ken Rosewall Arena this weekend,” she said.
“I know that the players from both clubs love the connection they have with netball fans across the state and not getting the opportunity to play in Sydney this weekend will be a big blow for them too.
“I would like to thank our players, coaches and club staff for their continued commitment, innovation, flexibility and willingness to get things done.”
Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald said she was thrilled and relieved to be getting the season underway regardless of the challenges.
“I am so excited and truly grateful to just be playing this season,” she said.
“It’s obviously disappointing not to be able to play a full season at home in front of all our members.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.