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Dame Noeline Taurua stoked with large Silver Ferns squad system - 'It's been fierce'

With over 40 players to watch at the Silver Ferns' training camp, it'd be understandable to think Dame Noeline Taurua's focus is all over the place ahead of next week's Cadbury Netball Series.

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More than 40 players have come together in Wellington to contest spots in Dame Noeline's Cadbury Series squad. Source: 1 NEWS

The Silver Ferns coach is busy conducting a second training camp in Wellington this week which features players from three of the four teams that will feature in the four-team tournament - the Silver Ferns, NZ A and the New Zealand under-21s.

Despite the large roster, Dame Noeline's focus is as clear as ever with goals for next week, next month and even the next decade.

"Pretty much, we're looking at building the depth," Dame Noeline said.

"Not only in the four-year cycle we have upon us but also hopefully for eight years and this is the start of that strategy."

Dame Noeline said by bringing the three squads together to train for the Cadbury Netball Series, she has managed to create competition for spots in her final squad to face England later this month as well.

"It's a trial situation for us using both camps and the Cabury series," she said.

"What we're trying to do is build the depth but also create pressure amongst ourselves... It's an open slather for us, and opportunities have been presented for not only the younger ones but the mature players as well.

"Out there, it's been quite fierce in regards to competition. You've always got someone nipping at your feet and that's probably the environment we want to create.

"It's not a done deal because you've been here before." 

Taurua added one of her notorious standards - fitness - has also been held up this week.

“We’re actually at the best yo-yo that we’ve been for the last 10 years, so I’m really happy with where the standard is at physically,” Taurua said.

“Now we’ve just got to get that netball brain connected to court strategy out there and obviously the desire. Obviously, it’s the first step forward and we’re improving from camp one.

“They’ve gotten themselves out there and actually gotten themselves better and worked hard.

"There’s still people who are under the target but I’m really happy to say they have shifted a huge amount and at the moment we’re the most fit team in the last 10 years.

"I couldn’t be happier.”

Next week's Cadbury Netball Series in Palmerston North, which features the NZ Men as the fourth team, runs from October 21-24 before the Silver Ferns take on England in a three-Test series starting October 28.