THE Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel are gearing up for their third game against the Northern Stars this season, with the goal of winning their way to the ANZ Premiership elimination final.
Back playing on home-ground, Steel will be aiming to beat this season’s record of 15 home-game wins at the ILT Stadium Southland.
The game will be held at the stadium, which the team call their “fortress”, on Wednesday at 7.40pm.
If successful, the team will take on the Stars, again at the elimination round, the following week, Wednesday 29.
Media manager Kate Buchanan said she was expecting a “great crowd” after she witnessed an overwhelming turnout from supporters at the Steel’s last home-game against the Pulse earlier this month.
“The crowd at the last home-game was just fantastic, we hadn’t beaten the Pulse all season and that crowd just brought the girls home. It was just an amazing atmosphere.”
She said it was really important for the team to keep up their winning streak at next week’s game on Southland ground.
With more than 900 members who had signed up for season passes, the team were “really lucky” to have such strong support from the community, she said.
“Those people who have locked in their tickets already bring the noise and we’re hoping for some extra people to come along too to build the crowd up.”
The team had a great start to the season and were showing qualities of a “great work ethic” to make it as far as they had in the ANZ Premiership, she said.
Next week’s game will also feature two ex-Steel players, Leana de Bruin and Storm Purvis, who now play defence for the Northern Stars.
“We always love having them down in the south again they’re both fantastic players.”
Players set to take the court next week include Silver Ferns players Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Gina Crampton, former Silver Ferns Shannon Francois and Te Huinga Selby-Rickit, as well as Lenize Potgieter, Jennifer O’Connell, Courtney Elliot, Abby Erwood, Kendall McMinn and Kate Heffernan.
The team encouraged everyone to come down and see the “thrilling, heart racing, adrenaline-inducing best” live.