Silver Ferns Shannon Francois in action during the Netball Quad Series match between the Silver Ferns and England at Vector Arena in Auckland. Photo: Michael Bradley.

Shannon Francois banks on home support

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Former Motueka High School student Shannon Francois says she “probably got $1000 worth of tickets on hold” for family and friends for the Silver Ferns test at Trafalgar Centre on Sunday.

It’s as close to a home test as the Southern Steel player can get as New Zealand play their first ever test in Nelson.

The 25-year-old is hopeful of hearing her named called for the team to play against Jamaica.

“I’ve got heaps of family and friends ready to make a lot of noise, so it should be a fun atmosphere.”

The mid-courter was a talented track and field athlete in her younger days but is comfortable with how her netball career has panned out so far.

“I enjoyed the sprints and the long jump and triple jump, but I highly doubt I would have made it internationally in any of those disciplines.”

Shannon says the confidence in the Silver Ferns setup is high after good wins over England and South Africa and a narrow loss to Autralia, but any game against Jamaica always promises to be an even bigger step

“The win over England was great, especially with a lot of new girls in the environment.

“We struggled early to get going against South Africa but it felt like we got things going well late in the piece.”

Shannon says, with a new coach and captain combination of Janine Southby and Katrina Grant, the emphasis has been on experienced players like herself to help the new players.

There is a free meet-and-greet for fans with players from both New Zealand and Jamaica, at the Trafalgar Centre on Friday from 12.45pm to 2.15pm.