Netball ACT has scrapped the Canberra Giants from the Australian Netball League and will introduce a stand-alone team in a bid to diversify their pathway to the top.
The organisation will enter the solely-owned franchise into the competition next year after three successful seasons with Giants Netball.
The new franchise will expose more ACT-based players to elite level netball without having to travel interstate for training and matches.
The Canberra Giants had just four local players in their squad this year and played the majority of home matches in Sydney.
Netball ACT are yet to confirm their selection processes but general manager Nicole Bowles said taking full-ownership of an ANL franchise will provide more positions for local players.
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"We're confident we'll be as much of an ACT-team as we can," Bowles said.
"Through standing alone, we'll have more spots available which strengthens the pathway for our athletes coming through."
It comes after Netball ACT earned the right to a two-year licence for a franchise in the NSW Premier League, with Capital Spirit to join the competition next year.
The franchise will bridge the gap between State League and ANL, creating a state pathway from grass roots to elite level netball in the ACT.
"Our State League is strong throughout the region but stepping up to the national stage against athletes who are in Super Netball training environments is a really big leap," Bowles said.
"Providing a premier league franchise, who train and play for sixteen weeks of the year, is massive for what that does for athletes on their development pathway."
Netball ACT will pay homage to the Canberra Darters in the branding guidelines for the new ANL franchise.
The Darters folded in 2016 after winning one match in each of their last three seasons. The Canberra Giants reached the grand final in 2018 and made the preliminary final this year.
Meanwhile Giants Netball have launched an academy at Netball NSW, with the state will likely introduce a second ANL franchise.