Aussies to take charge of Silver Ferns-England series

_MCA6014LiTHREE of Australia’s high performance umpires have been invited by the INF to take charge of the international Test Series in New Zealand later this month.

Victoria’s Marc Henning, pictured right, and Tara Warner, from New South Wales, have been chosen alongside Western Australia’s Paula Ferguson to officiate the two Test series between the Silver Ferns and England at Rotorua on 28 October and Palmerston North on 31 October.

The series will be Warner’s international debut while Henning’s selection caps off a week where he was also awarded a contract to join Australia’s umpiring squad for the 2015 ANZ Championship season.

Henning officiated at this year’s Australian Netball League Grand Final with Warner and said he’s looking forward to working with her and Ferguson in what shapes as a fascinating Test Series between the Silver Ferns and England.

“I’ve umpired with Tara for a few seasons so it will be great to experience this Test Series together,” Henning said.

“It’s certainly a great opportunity (to officiate the series). If you watched the games between the top four countries at this year’s Commonwealth Games, they were definitely very close in terms of skill and performance; so should be a great contest.”

Having officiated at last year’s World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow, Henning said his umpiring has benefited from being involved with Netball Australia’s new High Performance Pathway this year.

“This year (for me) was all about dedication to the process and following through the pathway and taking the opportunities offered to me by Netball Australia,” Henning said.

“The off-court support I’ve received through the pathway from the umpire coaches is fantastic in providing feedback and helping you analyse the game and improve.

“My focus this year was just to enjoy umpiring, umpire well and if I had some success at end of that, even better. The feedback I was receiving was that I was moving in the right direction.”

Henning said one of the best elements of umpiring was the opportunity to continually look to improve his skills, providing a real sense of personal achievement.

“I have some great friendships through netball and that’s been fantastic,” he said. “I love the game, the experience of being involved in a sport that I’m very passionate about.

“For me, it’s concentrating on the process of umpiring, enjoying the moment and having the confidence that through the structure you have the skills and abilities to perform at this level.”