Collingwood coach Rob Wright joked his players felt they were part of the television show Amazing Race as they waited by the phone this week for a call to head to the airport. Super Netball has been frantically trying to nail down where the competition will start on 1 August.
The two Victorian teams, Collingwood and Melbourne, were due to fly to Sydney on Wednesday but that was put on hold with coronavirus rates rising in NSW as well as Melbourne.
Competition officials are now believed to be looking at Queensland or Western Australia to host the eight-team competition, with the Melbourne teams needing to fly this week so they can quarantine for two weeks ahead of the start date.
“We could be flying somewhere tonight or tomorrow but we’re not sure and we don’t know where it is,” Wright told SEN’s Gerard Whateley on Thursday. “The girls don’t know whether to pack a bikini or a beanie and we’re all waiting by the phone for our destination so it’s like Amazing Race.”
Wright said his players were all on board for the move and had been told they could be away for a minimum of five weeks or as long as 11. He said it would be tough on three staff members who had kids but all agreed it was a sacrifice required to get the competition up and running.
“There’s going to be a new broadcast deal that will be negotiated at the end of this year so it’s critical to get the sport up and running,” Wright said. “We have to do it – if this season doesn’t happen the comp is in real strife and I think that’s probably the bottom line. With no comp the players and staff don’t have jobs.”
He said winning the competition this season would be a massive achievement for his team, which is basically in lockdown while West Coast Fever had a practice match this week.
But he felt time on the road would work in his side’s favour. “We just want to get on with some games because in reality we haven’t played for over a year.”