Older and wiser, Fern gets a second chance
Pulse defender Sulu Fitzpatrick has been recalled to the Silver Ferns squad after seven long years, with the defender saying she will make her second shot count.
The 26-year-old made her debut for the Silver Ferns in 2011 against England, but admitted she took her selection for granted.
“I think I was very blessed to get that opportunity so early, but I think myself mentally I wasn’t quite there,” said Fitzpatrick.
“So I definitely took it for granted and really didn’t realise that the amount of support I had backing me to take that opportunity and wasted it.”
She spoke to reporters after being named on Thursday, saying she has gained a lot more experience since her debut.
“I feel old, I definitely feel a lot more settled,” she said.
“As you get older, you get a bit more perspective. But I think, for me, I needed time.”
Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua said Fitzpatrick has a solid combination with Katrina Grant in the ANZ Premiership with the Pulse.
“The selection of Sulu Fitzpatrick provides us with another option in circle defence,” said Taurua.
“Also she has the value of working closely with Katrina Grant at Pulse and that will be of value to us in the Silver Ferns.”
The Silver Ferns’ Constellation Cup opener is in at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre against the Australian Diamonds from 3pm tomorrow.
After NZME broke the news that Sky TV is set to lose Formula 1 motorsport rights, a number of fans took to social media to express their hopes that the official F1 app will be released here.
NZME understands falling audience numbers for F1 races, in part pinned on start times shifting to the early-hours New Zealand time, meant Sky was unwilling to make a competitive bid to renew rights. It is not yet known who will pick up the rights but there is an indication of the ballpark cost.
In August 2014, Coliseum Sports Media boss Tim Martin said his company had made a $6 million bid for four years’ F1 rights for New Zealand. Coliseum was trumped by Sky. Two months later, Coliseum, which then held English Premier League and US and European golf rights, would form its short-lived Lightbox Sport joint venture with Spark.
Spark, which recently regained Premier League rights for three years from the 2019/2020 season and the Rugby World Cup 2019, could be in the frame for Formula 1. Its managing director, Simon Moutter, has previously said rugby is not enough; a portfolio of topflight sports is required for his company to be a serious content contender.
But on Twitter on Thursday night, some F1 fans were also hoping Sky’s loss of rights could see the official F1 app available here (currently Formula One owner Liberty Media geo-blocks its app to Kiwis — or at least its live race coverage component).
Liberty launched its commercial-free F1 TV app in March, allowing F1 fans in the US, France, Germany and a number of other countries to watch races live for US$12 ($18.50) a month. A cheaper, non-geoblocked version offers historic races, behind-thescenes footage and other frills.
F1 could sell local rights to Spark (for arguments sake) then also sell its app here for a higher rate than Spark’s F1 stream for those who want the whole enchilada — onboard cams, race data, behind-the-scenes stuff etc.
But even if F1 TV does not end up being made available to New Zealanders for the next F1 season, the rise of direct-to-the-viewer apps remains a potent threat to old-school middle-men like pay TV broadcasters.