Two of netball’s emerging stars join a quartet of Silver Ferns announced in the LG Mystics squad today.

While securing the coveted ANZ Championship silverware remains the immediate focus, the inclusion of talented Auckland youngsters Elisapeta Toeava and Malia Paseka reinforces the LG Mystics commitment to also build for future success.

The teenage pair joins four players considerably more familiar in sporting circles with Silver Ferns mid courters and shooters Maria Tutaia, Cat Latu, Bailey Mes and Grace Rassmussen all recommitting to the franchise.
“Re-signing players of their calibre is certainly integral to our title quest so I’m thrilled they will once again be proudly representing the LG Mystics,” CEO Julie Paterson said.

Despite their rookie status, dynamic midcourter Toeava and shooter Paseka are familiar with the high performance environment of the LG Mystics after being included as training partners during the franchise’s 2012 campaign as well as earning selection in the New Zealand under-21 team.

“The board and coaches of our franchise have previously identified the importance of developing our own talent where possible so it’s exciting to see two of those players capitalise on their opportunities and make the step up to full contracts with the Mystics for 2013,” Paterson said.
Mystics head coach Ruth Aitken had a reputation for identifying players at a young age and nurturing their ability.

“Maria herself is testament to that after being selected by Ruth for the Ferns at just 18 years old and I’m sure both Elisapeta and Malia will also benefit from her knowledge,” Paterson said.
Aitken, who has taken over the coaching reigns from Debbie Fuller for the 2013 season, said she was excited by the playing roster being recruited, which also includes Australian Diamonds defender Julie Corletto.

“It is important that franchises continue to look to the future and establish strong development programmes in their own area. As you can see it is paying off for two of our own players and that’s great news for the franchise as well,” Aitken said.