Anna Harrison will return to the SKYCITY Mystics for the 2016 season.

Harrison (32), who has won World Champs and Commonwealth Games gold medals with the Silver Ferns, brings a wealth of experience in professional sport. She debuted for the Silver Ferns in 2002, has played 79 tests for her country, and has also represented New Zealand in both indoor and beach volleyball. She last played for the SKYCITY Mystics in 2014, before taking time away from netball for the birth of her second child.

“I always wanted to come back, but couldn’t be sure how life would play out,” she says. “I’m feeling really good, though. I had a few run-arounds against the Mystics in training towards the end of this season and provided opposition for the Silver Ferns in training games before the World Cup too.”

The SKYCITY Mystics have some very promising young defenders – such as Temalisi Fakahokotau and Sulu-Tone-Fitzpatrick – and linking with them was a “big drawcard” for Harrison, who can play GK, GD or WD.

“Anna is thorough in her preparation, she’s a committed campaigner and she delivers a skill set in defence that can throw opposition precision,” says the SKYCITY Mystics coach Debbie Fuller.

Also announced today to join the 2016 SKYCITY Mystics squad are Holly Fowler and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson, who are both in the national development squad.

Fowler (18) is head girl at Mt Albert Grammar and has represented the New Zealand Secondary Schools side for the last four seasons. The defender shone in the winning Northern Zone u23 team this year, with Fuller noting her “ability to consistently take ball off opposition through reading play ahead of the intercept and having the athleticism to execute.”

Sokolich-Beatson (18) finished at Whangaporoa College last year and has also played for the national schools’ team.

“Like Holly, Michaela matches the SKYCITY Mystics game style that we are looking for at WD, in particular her skill in contesting ball cleanly. This is a skill set that sets the ANZ Championship apart, as you have to keep defensively coming up with ball off your opponent one-on-one to ensure the subjective calls are a non-event.”

All signings in the ANZ Championship need to be completed by August 28, with further SKYCITY Mystics announcements to be made in due course.

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