Midcourter Latonya Lole has put the challenges of a false start firmly in the background after finally stepping into the Synergy Hair Netball League (NNL) with Central Manawa this season.

Study opportunities and netball first attracted Lole, 21, from her home city of Auckland to Wellington four years ago and she has delivered on both fronts, despite a wretched run of injuries delaying her sporting ambitions for a couple of years.

Attaining a scholarship to Massey University, in Wellington, for her first year, Lole is now in the final year of attaining a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in journalism.

"And I always grew up loving watching the Pulse, so the netball environment also drew me to coming down here," she said.

A schoolgirl representative in Auckland, Lole was first selected for the Manawa team last year only to be struck down with a season-ending injury the day before the team’s opening game, compounding a long run of injuries and a big effort to get herself up to speed for this season.

"It's taken me over two-and-a-half years just to get to this point, so my goals for this season were just to have fun, no expectations at all and just give everything that I can to this season," she said.

"If that all works well, then after this season, I would really like to concentrate on continuing to build on my fitness and skills, so I can be a strong contender for next year.

"I'm loving my journalism studies and being in the Manawa team is awesome. It's a great culture, the girls are awesome, we've built really good values and week-in week-out, you can see the willingness to get better and improve on the week before, so it's been great."

Lole had fully recovered from an anterior cruciate ligament injury to be ready for last season before a hamstring injury followed by a meniscus (knee) tear on the eve of her Manawa debut, which required surgery, derailed her progress.

"Last year was a big year mentally as well as trying to find the right people to put my trust in but it's all been worth it, and now I'm just trying to relish every opportunity," she said.

Playing predominantly from centre, Lole also stands in as captain when regular skipper Kiana Pelasio is adding cover for the Pulse.

With just three rounds remaining, Manawa are returning from a bye for their Round 8 clash against the Southern Blast in Invercargill on Saturday, while providing a timely opportunity to reflect and reset.

Squeezed between the Comets and Northern Marvels in second place on the points table, there is little margin between the three teams, all pushing for a place in the top two to contest the June 23 grand final.

"We were the last team to have a bye but it has worked well for us,"Lole said. "It has put us in a good position to freshen up, some of the (out of town) girls got to go home, myself included, and now we're all ready to go for this week."

Having one more bye to come, and the Comets and Marvels with a game in hand, Manawa have just two games left to show their hand.

"With our last two games, we just have to really put our foot down and make our mark. There's just no room for error or slip-ups, it's must-win for our final two games," Lole said.

"The Blast have just come off a huge upset last week against the Marvels, who were ahead of us on the table, so that has worked in our favour. But our job still lies ahead. They've got good ball speed, they're fast and they're just relentless, so a full 60-minute effort is what we need to put us in a position to get the win."