Not long ago, the idea of labelling the Canterbury Tactix as "favourites" for New Zealand’s domestic netball competition would've been laughable.
But after years of pain, that's their new reality as this year's ANZ Premiership was launched today.
Tactix coach Marianna Delaney-Hoshek has noticed the change though with a distinct air of assuredness around her this year.
“I’d like to think we're in and around [title contention],” she said.
The confidence is all the more significant when fans reflect on where the Tactix have come from; a painful history of single-win seasons and unwanted records.
In fact, there was a time between 2010 and 2017 where out of 106 games, they won just 12.
But fast forward to 2020 and those dark days became nothing more than a distant memory with the Tactix finishing second in the premiership’s regular season with a 9-4 record before they lost the final to the Pulse.
This year, they’re aiming to go one step further to where no Canterbury netball team has gone before and win a championship.
They’re campaign to realise that dream kicks off later on Sunday when they take on the Southern Steel in Invercargill.