Get to Know the Silver Ferns

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nzgirl takes a look at the members of the Silver Ferns taking on the rest of the world at the World Champs in Jamaica…


Position: GS
Height: 1.90m
Caps: 35 (also 72 for South Africa)
Date of birth: 21 June 1972
Place of birth: South Africa.
Who could have ever foreseen Irene van Dyk, who once ended the Vodafone Silver Ferns run in the 1995 World championships, would become the darling of New Zealand netball? She left behind a successful netball career in South Africa four years ago, to move to Wellington with her husband and young daughter, Bianca. She has frequently shot near-perfect games for her new National Bank Cup franchise, the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic, this season. Always a crowd favourite, the ever-smiling van Dyk says her career highlight was wearing the silver fern in the final of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Quick Fire Facts
Occupation: Intermediate School Teacher
Nickname: I’s
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut: 2000 v South Africa
Netball Career Highlights: 2002 Commonwealth Games Final
Reason for Playing Netball: Enjoyment
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball: Meeting Wonderful People
Favourite Food: Pizza and Pasta
Favourite Music: Everything but Blues and Jazz
Favourite Colour: Turquoise
Favourite Number: 6
Favourite TV Programme: Providence
Favourite Books: Danielle Steel
Favourite Item of Clothing: Wedding Dress

Positions: GA, WA
Height: 1.78m
Caps: 63
Date of birth: 12 September 1975
Place of birth: Christchurch

At just 27, Belinda Colling is one of the true veterans of the Vodafone Silver Ferns. She’s been captain of the New Zealand side, from 1997 to 1999, collected 63 test caps and been a regular face in the Ferns line-up for seven seasons. It’s no wonder she’s regarded as one of the most reliable players in the team. Since her debut in 1996, Colling has become famous for her strength on the ball, drive into the goal circle, with a sure pair of hands and a no-nonsense attitude. Those skills have been sharpened from a parallel career in basketball – another sport in which she has represented New Zealand.

Quick Fire Facts
Occupation: Barnardos Team Leader (Early Childhood Services)
Nickname: Bill
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut: 1996 v South Africa
Netball Career Highlights: 1998 Commonwealth Games
Reason for Playing Netball: For the love of the game
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball: People, playing
Favourite Movies: Braveheart, Shrek
Favourite Foods: Central Otago Fruit, Licorice, Lonestar Dixie Chicken
Favourite Music: All Types
Favourite Colour: Black & Green
Favourite Number: 13
Favourite TV Programme: Sex and the City
Favourite Book: For the Love of the Game by Michael Jordan.

Height: 1.84m
Caps: 3
Date of birth: 26 November 1971
Place of birth: Auckland

Tania Dalton never expected to be recalled to the Vodafone Silver Ferns after the birth of her first child, daughter Tayla. She signalled her retirement from international netball in 2002 and was content to be a full-time mum and travelling shooter for the Southern Sting. Now Dalton is thrilled she accepted the invitation to trial for the Ferns in May. While her international career has been on and off over the last seven years, Dalton has constantly been one of the stand-out shooters in the provincial ranks. Married to a former New Zealand surf lifesaver, Duane Dalton, Tania lives in Auckland but has travelled virtually the length of the country every week to train and play with five-time national league champions, the Sting, in Invercargill.

Quick Fire Facts 
Occupation Mother
Nickname: T-Bag
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut: 1996, last played 2000 vs South Africa
Reason for Playing Netball: I love the game, I love the team sports side of it
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball: Winning
Favourite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
Favourite Food: Chocolate
Favourite Music: David Gray
Favourite Colour: Blue
Favourite Number: 26
Favourite TV Programme: 24
Favourite Book: Lance Armstrong – About The Bike
Favourite Piece of Clothing: Jeans

Positions: C, WA, WD
Height: 1.70m
Caps: 21
Date of birth: 23 October 1975
Place of birth: Auckland

Mother-of-two Temepara Clark is a battler – having to toil hard to win back her place in the Vodafone Silver Ferns line-up. Clark (formerly George) knows all about patience, waiting four years from the day she was first selected for New Zealand until she made her on-court debut against Australia in 2000. The shortest of the Silver Ferns (at 1.7m) makes up for a lack of height with her explosive speed and stunning aerial skills. Clark – of Maori, Samoan and European descent – describes the highlight of her netball career as beating Australia, any time.

Quick Fire Facts 
Occupation: Office administrator
Nickname: Bubby
Ethnic Origin: European, Maori, Samoan
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut: 1996 (first made team) but on- court debut in 2000 –Fisher & Paykel Cup v Australia
Netball Career Highlights: Beating Australia
Reason for Playing Netball: Love the challenges on and off the court
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball: Meeting and making new friends
Favourite Food: Asian Foods
Favourite Music: All Music
Favourite Colour: Blue, Yellow, Purple
Favourite Number: 2
Favourite TV Programme: CSI
Favourite Piece of Clothing: Pyjamas

Positions: C, WA, WD
Height: 1.76m
Caps: 69
Date of birth: 31 March 1976
Place of birth: Christchurch

The daughter of a former New Zealand player, Anna Rowberry hadn’t even played senior provincial netball when she was whisked off for her international debut against Jamaica in 1994. Her rollercoaster career dipped to its lowest point when sidelined by selectors for 18 months, but she was recalled again in 2002. Today, Rowberry has been rewarded for her patience and tenacity in the “down” times with the captaincy of the New Zealand team. A phys ed teacher at an Auckland girls’ school, Rowberry is an outstanding athlete, known in the netball world for her speed through court and her trademark bullet pass, which has been perfected over time. Rowberry is the second most experienced player in the side, with 69 caps behind Lesley Nicol.

Quick Fire Facts 
Occupation: Teacher
Nickname: Annie
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut: 1994, Jamaica
Netball Career Highlights: Winning Coca Cola Cup 1998 – Otago
Reason for Playing Netball: Enjoyment
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball: Skill of game, friendships, challenge
Favourite Movies: La vie est belle, Grease
Favourite Food: Thai
Favourite Book: Bronze Horseman
Piece of Clothing: Jeans
Role Model: Frankie Fredericks (Namibian Sprinter)
Hobbies: Beach, fishing

Positions: WD, C, GD
Height: 1.78m
Caps: 92
Date of birth: 9 May 1973
Place of birth: Invercargill

Lesley Nicol has just become New Zealand’s most capped netballer in the history of the game, overtaking Sandra Edge’s 94-game record this season. But Nicol is not one to boast, and will continue with her tireless workload and team-effort approach. Nicol has become the most familiar face in the Silver Ferns over an international career which began a decade ago. In that time she has missed only one series – to concentrate on her final medical exams in 2001. During her career, she has led New Zealand to victory at the 1991 World Youth Cup (her highlight), and captained the Silver Ferns. All the while, she was studying for a degree in physiotherapy, and then became a doctor now practising at Invercargill Hospital.

Quick Fire Facts
Occupation Doctor
Nicknames Les, Legs
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut 1994 – v Australia (Milo World Series)
Reason for Playing Netball: Love it! Have a passion for it.
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball: Competitiveness, feeling seeing goal scored after great intercept, the friends you make
Favourite: Movie Gladiator
Favourite Book: The Magus
Favourite Piece of Clothing: Macpac running backpack
Role Models: Nelson Mandela, Susan Devoy and Erin Baker

Positions: GD, WD
Height: 1.78m
Caps: 22
Date of birth: 8 September 1977
Place of birth: Auckland

Incredible family support has helped Sheryl Clarke become the rock-solid New Zealand defender that she is today. Clarke’s Samoan-Kiwi parents are passionate fans, as is her brother, Eroni, a former All Black. Clarke’s poise, grace and strength in defence have steadily grown since she was first named in the New Zealand side for the tour to the UK in 1997. Clarke was forced to wait another three years before she was selected to wear the fern again, making her debut on the historic 2000 tour to South Africa, but since then she has quietly staked her claim in the team. Clarke has reinforced her status as one of the country’s most reliable defenders this year, helping the Force to the finals of the National Bank Cup.

Quick Fire Facts
Occupation: Customer Services representative/team leader
Nickname: Selo
Ethnic: Origin Samoan
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut: 2000 v South Africa – South Africa
Netball Career Highlights 1995 – Winning Caltex Cup, NZ
Reason for Playing Netball Enjoyment – the best sport!
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball: Travelling, friendships
Favourite Food: Seafood Favourite
R n B, Gospel
Favourite Colour: Black
Favourite Book: Left Behind
Favourite Piece of Clothing: Shoes
Role Model: Waimarama Taumaunu – very gutsy strong player, inspirational leader

Positions: GD, GK
Height: 1.90m
Caps: 1 (34 for South Africa)
Date of birth: 9 July 1977
Place of birth: South Africa

Leana du Plooy’s career may be galloping down the same path as her friend Irene van Dyk, but the lanky defender is making a name for herself in New Zealand netball. Like van Dyk, du Plooy left the South African national side and moved to Wellington, then played her way into the Vodafone Silver Ferns. And like van Dyk, she switched from the Capital Shakers to play with the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic this season. The pair are also the same height – at 1.90m the tallest players in the Ferns alongside Vilimaina Davu. But du Plooy makes no claims to being a shooter – her strengths lie at the other end of the court, where her height, agility and keen eye in defence earned her a place in the 2003 national side of her new country.

Quick Fire Facts about Leana Du Plooy
Occupation: Student
Nickname: Vlooi
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut: UK Tour February 2003
Netball Career Highlights: World 7 Team 2001
Reason for Playing Netball: Love it
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball: Travel and meeting people from different countries Favourite Movie: Drop Zone
Favourite Food: BBQ
Favourite Music: U2
Favourite Colour: Blue
Favourite Number: 10
Favourite TV Programme: CSI
Role Model: My Dad – he never gives up!

Positions: GK, GD
Height: 1.86m
Caps: 3
Date of birth: 15 April 1983
Place of birth: Westport

Anna Scarlett can lay claim to being the first Silver Fern out of Karamea, a remote farming community on the South Island’s West Coast. She’s the first national volleyball representative from her hometown too. Scarlett was a training player with the Silver Ferns at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, but the NZU21 defender had played her way into the Ferns against South Africa later that year. After a stunning string of performances in the National Bank Cup this season, 20-year- old Scarlett is definitely a player to watch this year and in years to come.

Quick Fire Facts
Occupation: Physiotherapy Student
Nickname: Scarlett
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut: November 2002 – Fisher & Paykel
Netball Career Highlights: Finalist at the South Island, Secondary Schools (1999) and making the NZ Under21 Squad
Reason for Playing Netball: Fun!
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball: It’s challenging
Favourite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
Favourite Food: Roasts and Chocolate
Favourite Music: U2 & Dido
Favourite Colour: Blue
Favourite Number: 11 or 12
Favourite TV Programme: Friends
Favourite Book: Winnie the Pooh
Favourite Clothing: ¾ pants

Height: 1.90m
Caps: 23 (55 for Fiji)
Date of birth: 15 January 1977
Place of birth: Fiji

Vilimaina Davu is no doubt the paradox of the Vodafone Silver Ferns. On court she is forceful and feared. But off it, she is funny, shy and unpretentious. “Vili” is one of the outstanding additions to the Silver Ferns in recent years. After becoming Fiji’s top defender, and playing 55 tests for her home country, Davu moved to Christchurch in 2000 and was quickly snapped up by the New Zealand side to play South Africa that same year. Her aerial game and long reach continue to amaze her huge band of fans.

Quick Fire Facts
Occupation: Netball Development Officer
Nicknames: Vili, Shorty
Ethnic Origin: Fijian
Vodafone Silver Ferns Debut: 2000 v South Africa – South Africa
Reason for Playing Netball: Love it
Most Enjoyable Thing about Netball Tours and meeting other top Netballers
Favourite Movie: The Patriot
Favourite Food: Pasta
Favourite Music: Reggae
Favourite Colour: Orange
Favourite Number: 4
Favourite TV Programme: The Nanny
Favourite Books: Novels Kiriwai & Alana

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