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Magic coach believes NZ game won't suffer

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/05/2016

Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic coach Julie Fitzgerald isn't expecting the demise of the trans-Tasman netball league to be detrimental to the game in New Zealand.

The competition will be axed at the end of the season with Australia and New Zealand forming their own domestic leagues next year.

Fitzgerald, who led the New South Wales Swifts to victory in the inaugural ANZ Championship in 2008, says it will take time for the impact of the changes to be fully apparent.

But she doesn't believe the new Australian league will be necessarily stronger.

"Their competition is going from five to eight teams so their talent will be spread further," she said.

"New Zealand won't see such a diversification of talent with only six teams and I think in some ways that will level things out."

Fitzgerald also believes the Silver Ferns will be no less competitive against the Diamonds when the international season rolls around.

"I don't think it will have an effect," she said.

"As it has shown in the current competition, by the time the 12 people are chosen to put that black dress on against Australia, it's a very different context."

Fitzgerald, who is coming off contract at the end of the season, isn't looking to return home to Australia just yet, despite the creation of three new Australian franchises.

"I think you always keep your options open, but having said that Magic have been very good to me," she said.

"I'm excited about what we are building here and I think we can be a very dominant club in this new competition."

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