THE next instalment in the Draft Central Compare the Pair series will aim to analyse two fan favourites from across the netball world, with the next showcasing New Zealand Silver Ferns goal shooters, Irene van Dyk and Maia Wilson.
Two players with wildly different experience at the international level, van Dyk and Wilson are two multi-faceted goalers with impressive netball nous and skill at the post. Accurate and level headed, both players have that classic and classy goaling ability but are also able to adapt to the game at hand, shaking things up the way that only the Ferns know how. While van Dyk is remembered as the best goaler in the world, Wilson is really only just starting her international journey and is already a solid and composed option at the post.
There is not much to complain about when describing van Dyk, with her silky movement, speed and ability to generate excitement even in the toughest conditions. Able to shake up a match with a single movement towards the post, the 190cm goaling sensation is not known as the best goaler of all time for nothing. While van Dyk began her international journey with South Africa – collecting an acceptable 72 caps with the Proteas – she soared to stardom with the Ferns, using her netball smarts and accuracy to rocket to the highest capped player of all time, paving the way for a plethora of young stars. Her ability to find space in the circle and poke holes in her opposition’s defence was critical to the Ferns’ success, while her consistency allowed her to dominate at the post as a threatening fixture all throughout her international career.
While Wilson does not have the same accolades as one of her predecessors, she is a talented up-and-coming shooter for the Ferns, applying impressive pressure at the post with plenty of time to develop her craft and open up opportunities. Still only 22-years-old, Wilson has proved she has what it takes to compete against the best with her long reach and clean hands opening up options at the post. While she is not the tallest goal shooter lining up at the post, Wilson’s accuracy is testament to her ability to find the ball with ease and use her clean footwork to work her way around her opposition. With the retirement of Maria Folau still fresh for the Ferns, Wilson will be up there as a key mainstay in goal shooter and with more exposure could still improve tenfold, making her a concern for nations across the netball world.
Irene van Dyk
217 caps (NZL 145, RSA 72), 1994-2014
14 caps, 2016-present