The new ANL Magpies carry inevitable connections with the Collingwood name, but homegrown talent Ashton Whiley said the dual state side is ready to stamp its own Tasmanian imprint on the rebranded competition.
Netball Tasmania formed a partnership with the latest Melbourne Super Netball club to provide a nucleus for the 2017 feeder side in the Australian Netball League.
The state will for the first time in nearly two years be represented on the national stage when it faces Victorian Fury on Saturday night ahead of the Melbourne Vixens and Collingwood Magpies derby clash at Hisense Arena.
“This is a huge opportunity for Tasmanian netballers and to be part of the team in the first round is really exciting for all the girls,” Whiley said.
The Northern Hawks 26-year-old will join Cavalier crosstown rival Shelby Miller as Launceston’s two state league netballers playing for the Tasmanian Magpies.
Whiley said the pair, along with omitted Hawks teammate Zoe Claridge, are quite aware they are playing with weighty local expectations.
“The Hawks and Cavs have always been really supportive of their players,” she said.
“They can sense this opportunity is the start of something for our state, so everyone is right behind us.”
Whiley added the side was “in a great position to have a really competitive season”.
But Tasmania’s tough start to its season will continue on Sunday at the State Netball Hockey Centre against the seven-time ANL champions.