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Getting to know: Holly Fowler – NZSS Captain

Getting to know: Holly Fowler – NZSS Captain

New Zealand Secondary Schools defender Holly Fowler has added another string to her bow, announced today as captain of the NZSS team for the International Schoolgirls Netball Challenge event in Adelaide next week.

Fowler is a Year 12 student at Mount Albert Grammar School (MAGS) and is also current captain of the defending national champion high school netball team which won the New Zealand Secondary School’s tournament last October in Auckland.

The 181cm defender has been in rep netball teams since Year 9 including the U15’s and U17’s for Tamaki Makarau. This will be her third year in the NZSS team and her first as captain.

“Firstly I couldn’t believe this honour was being offered to me, then after it sank in I felt so proud to take on this responsibility,” she said.

Fowler has her sights set on playing in the ANZ Championship with the ultimate goal of wearing the black dress for the Silver Ferns.

“It’s one of the goals I have set for myself and hopefully the opportunity presents itself."

“But balance is necessary, so finishing off my Level 3’s so I can get into the University of my choice is also key,” she said.

The NZSS team are defending champions and Fowler says it’s about playing with confidence and having faith in each other’s abilities.

“The coaches and selectors have individually hand-picked the best players in the country, so we have to have the confidence to go for it. We need to trust in each other to do their job and play our own game and not anyone else’s.”

“Be proud, stand up tall and show everyone what we’ve got, now that the hard work of being selected, has paid off.”

“I’ve had the privilege of being part of two former winning NZ trans-tasman teams and each team, like this one, has a humility that breeds winners - understated yet confident.

“There are no prima donnas here, we work as a team,” she said.
NZSS coach Marianne Delaney says Fowler is the real deal both on and off the court.

“It’s Holly’s third consecutive year in the team and she’s not even in her final year of school yet,” Delaney said.

“She always plays to the best of her ability, she’s intelligent, thoughtful, perceptive and importantly, has the respect of all the girls in the team.”

Fowler is quick to acknowledge those who have been instrumental in her netball success so far.

“I can’t name one person because I have been surrounded by so many wonderful people along my journey, however the MAGS Premiers team culture which my coaches Te Aroha Keenan and Paula Smith have nurtured, has had the biggest influence on me.”

“We are like a family where everyone is valued. I’ve gained technical know-how from our coaches, a strong work ethic from senior players and a great manager in Jo Price who relieves pressure by making us laugh,” she said.

“And of course the encouragement and support of all the parents. This culture has collectively shaped me into the player and person I am today.”

St Andrew’s College midcourter Charlotte Elley has been given the nod as vice-captain with coach Marianne Delaney also impressed with her attributes.

“Charlotte displayed great leadership at squad weekend and very much deserves the vice-captaincy,” Delaney said.

The NZSS team head to Adelaide on Friday with this year’s tournament played over five days from Monday May 19th with all finals played on Friday May 23rd. All ten teams will play each other over the first four days after which the teams will be ranked from 1-10 for finals play-offs.


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