Netball Northern Zone are excited to announce another home grown coach to guide the MG Mystics into the 2023 ANZ Premiership season. Current MG Mystics Apprentice Coach, Tia Winikerei will take over the reins from Helene Wilson, who ended her six-year tenure in the top job this year, taking on a role at High Performance Sport New Zealand.

Following a thorough recruitment process, Winikerei ultimately won the role by impressing the board with her strong vision, deep understanding of the MG Mystics culture and her drive to be the best coach she can be.

“Tia was very clear on what she wants, and the direction the team needs to go. Her vision to enhance the connection with our people, from the netball community to on court performance was exceptional” says MG Mystics CEO Phil Vyver.

Winikerei is really excited to work with everyone again at the MG Mystics. “To have the expertise of Rob Wright and leadership of Sulu Fitzpatrick and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson alongside me in my first year along with a strong team of players, who I have coached over the past two years, gives me confidence we can build on what has already been achieved at the MG Mystics.”

Winikerei has been the MG Mystics Apprentice Coach for the past two seasons and has been part of the targeted strategy of developing coaches in the zone who aspire to be a high performance coach. Winikerei has built a strong coaching relationship with Assistant Coach Rob Wright, and together they will form a formidable coaching team in 2023.

“I know Tia can coach. She has taken every opportunity to learn what it takes to succeed at a high performance level. I am excited to be led by her vision for the future direction of the MG Mystics,” said Assistant Coach Rob Wright.

Fitzpatrick said the playing group are excited to welcome Winikerei to the Head Coach position. “Tia has an ability to make every player feel valued for the part they contribute to the collective performance. She is an innovative skills coach and has a strong vision for our team that looks to the bigger picture.”

Winikerei was the inaugural Head Coach of the Mystics Men’s team in 2022 and has also held several other roles including Athlete Development Lead and High Performance Manager. This was preceded by a successful 16 year career in the public service sector where Winikerei held a variety of leadership roles.

Winikerei’s appointment continues the commitment to create a netball legacy for our area where investment in our people is a priority. “Tia is an impressive person who constantly seeks the best out of all people and herself. She bleeds Mystics blue and has a deep understanding of the MG Mystics culture and players” said CEO Phil Vyver. It is fantastic to be able to promote someone who has demonstrated the leadership skillset to elevate the MG Mystics programme in 2023.

The MG Mystics begin their season with a home match against the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel on Saturday 4th March 2023.


For more information please contact:

Jim Kayes

021 669 932