Rookie goal attack Ameliaranne Wells is keen to test herself against some familiar faces when the Silver Ferns meet Australia in Invercargill.
It hasn’t taken Australian-born Ameliaranne Wells long to feel at home in the New Zealand netball side.
But just how complete her adjustment is won’t become apparent until she’s been tested against Australia in Thursday’s first Constellation Cup Test in Invercargill.
The 25-year-old Queenslander is vying for a starting spot with the experienced Jodi Brown, and is eager to test herself against some familiar opposition.
Wells, eligible for the Silver Ferns through her New Zealand-born father, has bolted into the team after growing up in Australia and learning her trade off the bench with the Queensland Firebirds for the last four years.
Tangling with Firebirds and Australian captain Laura Geitz in training is one thing, but continuing the battle in the international arena requires a completely different mindset.
Wells acknowledges the switch to a whole new level, but seems to have made an effortless transition to the New Zealand style of play.
“I definitely notice the difference, but I feel quite comfortable in getting the hang of this style. There are definite adjustments, but they feel quite natural,” she said.
Helping her make the adjustment is another familiar face in former Queensland coach and Australian goal shooter Vicki Wilson, now well settled in as Silver Ferns assistant coach.
Wilson has been impressed with the ease Wells has displayed in slotting into a New Zealand team desperately short of shooters after the retirement of Irene van Dyk and the withdrawal of an injury-stricken Maria Tutaia.
An elusive and mobile goal attack, Wells brings a useful range of skills to the Silver Ferns attacking third, Wilson said.
“She’s strong to the ball, she has an ability to find space and open it up, and she re-offers which gives us nice variety out in front of the goal shoot and sitting behind the wing attack,” she said.
Those attributes provide a smooth connection down court for the Silver Ferns, while her movement and high workload provide options on attack, as well as drawing defenders to create space for teammates.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander isn’t surprised Wells has made the transition into international netball, and says she has plenty to offer New Zealand.
“We’ve actually been looking at her game, and it really suits the style of the Silver Ferns,” Alexander said.
“I do think she’s ready for international netball… She’s going to come out there, show what she can really do and put some beautiful long shots in.
“But it’s also about whether she can continue to maintain that for a 60-minute game, and that would be the question mark at this stage.”