SHOOTING STAR TUTAIA BACK FOR 2016
After playing a starring role for the Silver Ferns in their Netball World Cup campaign, Maria Tutaia has confirmed she’ll be back for a seventh season with the SKYCITY Mystics in 2016.
Tutaia (28) is one of the most-experienced players in netball, with 116 ANZ Championship matches and 102 Test caps under her belt.
“Maria’s form at the World Cup and for the SKYCITY Mystics this year was absolute elite,” says the SKYCITY Mystics coach Debbie Fuller.
“There is an expectation for her to deliver every time she takes the court and she has grown as an athlete to the point that she can enjoy that, rather than backing away from it. She competes for every second and leads by example.”
The goal attack, and current SKYCITY Mystics captain, shot at 79.5% for her team this season and is considered by many to be the best in her position in the game.
“I’m very happy to be back with the SKYCITY Mystics for 2016,” Tutaia said. “We have a young and diverse team and, while the season didn’t finish as strongly as we would have liked, I felt the brand of netball we were playing in the second half of the year just needs some fine-tuning.
“We’ve got good people involved and I’m excited about what we might achieve with another year together.”
The queen of long-range shooting also revealed another factor that keeps the Auckland-based franchise close to her heart.
“Home-cooked meals,” she joked. “Everyone knows I’m a family person.”
The SKYCITY Mystics have now announced nine of their squad of 12 for next season, with all signings in the ANZ Championship to be completed by August 28.
2016 SKYCITY Mystics squad announced to date:
- Temalisi Fakahokotau
- Holly Fowler
- Serena Guthrie
- Anna Harrison
- Cathrine Latu
- Nadia Loveday
- Michaela Sokolich-Beatson
- Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick
- Maria Tutaia