The MG Mystics will farewell Claire O’Brien who has asked for a release from
her contract so she can remain in Australia.

Talented mid-courter Katie Te Ao will take O’Brien’s spot in the 2023 MG

O’Brien, who joined the MG Mystics as a training partner in 2021 and made
her debut at centre that year, returned to Australia in July. The Sydney-born
O’Brien has since informed the MG Mystics she would prefer to remain there
to be closer to family and friends, and to pursue career opportunities in

MG Mystics vice captain Michaela Sokolich-Beatson says it will be sad to lose
O’Brien who had become a big part of the team, on and off the court.
“We support her decision to stay in Australia and just want whatever is best for
her. We will miss her but she will always be part of the MG Mystics whanau.

Head Coach Tia Winikerei said O’Brien had been a valued part of the MG
Mystics and wished her well.

O’Brien thanked her team and the MG Mystics fans for their support over the
past two years. “It has been an honour to be a part of the Mystics whanau
and one I will be cherishing forever. I know my teammates and coaches will do
us proud in season 2023 and I can’t wait to see it.

Te Ao, aged 21, was a training partner for the 2021 Splice Construction Magic
and a member of the 2020 and 2021 Waikato Bay of Plenty National Netball
League teams. She was selected for the New Zealand under 21s team to play
in the 2021 Cadbury series (which was cancelled for this team, due to Covid).
Te Ao returned home to Auckland this year and played for Counties Manukau
in the recent Netball NZ Open Championships, where her explosive athleticism
and competitive nature were obvious.

Winikerei says Te Ao will be a good fit for the MG Mystics and comes with elite
level training and game experience. “This will be a new opportunity for Katie
to build on what she learnt from her time with Magic. She has great
athleticism and is fiercely competitive. It is this competitive nature that we
think will fit superbly at MG Mystics”.

Te Ao was born in New Zealand and raised in Western Australia until Year 12.
She returned to her home town of Tuakau in 2018, completing her secondary
school education at St Peter’s Cambridge in 2019 where her team won the
New Zealand Secondary School netball title.