Aotearoa Men’s netball captain Kruze Tangira will lead the Mystics Invitational Men’s against the Stars on Saturday.

The side is stacked with current and former New Zealand players and includes Canterbury Tactix apprentice coach Denis Napara.

A 12-strong squad was named after trials in Auckland last month with MG Northern Mystics head coach Helene Wilson impressed by what she saw.

“The calibre of trialists from Kaitaia to Christchurch was very exciting to watch as we put them through their paces with the MG Mystics usual selection processes.

“It is evident to me that with more exposure to the same type of professional support that is in the women’s game, the men will grow their game style significantly as they are so open to learning and athletic in the way they play the game.”

The trials began with routine Mystics performance measures and netball skill development drills.

It was an insight for many of the men into the elite netball training environment and some experienced the gruelling yo-yo fitness test for the first time.

Other high performance measures like jump testing were unfamiliar to all the players and the netball skill development session was a good opportunity for the coaches to learn more about how the men respond to different styles of coaching and netball activity.

Tia Winikerei, who is head coach of the men’s team, said the games were exciting.

“The athleticism the men demonstrated was outstanding, and the selection panel were treated with displays of exciting athleticism and speed, alongside quality skill execution.

“With four weeks lead into the game we have time to blend this athleticism and the uniqueness of what men bring to netball, with Mystics HP training and performance principles and knowledge.”

Wilson said bringing the men into the Mystics environment was a unique chance for all involved.

“Having the opportunity to open the trial process up to a group of coaches at the elite level in both the men’s and women’s game was a great PD opportunity for us all. Discussing the game we love with our different lens brings new opportunities to progress forward together for the good of all netball.                      

 “People often measure professionalism by payment, when that isn’t always possible the value of enhancing professional relationships and processes adds much more value. My hope is that every person, in any role that was involved in the MG Mystics Invitational Men’s trials has been exposed to something of value that will enhance their future involvement in Netball in all areas of NZ.”

Saturday’s game is at 2.00pm at Trusts Arena and will be live on Sky Sport.

Mystics Men’s Invitational Squad:

Caleb Vercoe

Dennis Napara

Ephraim Ormsby

Hikoirangi Paki

Joseph Tukaki

Joshua Vercoe

Kevin Bell

Kruze Tangira

Quintin Gerber

Thomson Matuku

Wiremu Britton-Rua

James Brown (Training Partner)