On the back of winning the 2021 ANZ Premiership title, the Northern Mystics have confirmed their defensive end for the 2022 season.

Captain Sulu Fitzpatrick returns in Mystics colours alongside Phoenix Karaka and Michaela Sokolich-Beatson.

The combination has had glimpses of its potential over the past two seasons, with head coach Helene Wilson excited about the mixture of experienced players.

“Sulu’s values are deeply connected to the Northern Zone. We are aligned with our vision and Sulu’s qualities as a leader means the future is bright for our team,” Wilson said.

Having Michaela’s leadership back on court for the first time since 2019 along with her dedication to her rehab program after two major injuries leaves Wilson confident she will be back on form in 2022. 

“Michaela is a club girl who has supported the team to a premiership win in every way this year. The only piece missing is having that ‘Micky energy’ running around on court and we can’t wait to support her to make that happen.”

Fitzpatrick is thrilled with her side’s first signings as they begin building towards next season and a bid to defend their title.

“Welcoming back another mum [Phoenix] on court along with Michaela after injury is awesome and I am really excited to not only grow with this experience but have the opportunity to nurture the future talent of the Northern Zone,” Fitzpatrick said.

“I am proud of the defence unit Kate Burley and I built this year as she grew her game at GD. She has a great opportunity to take her game to the next level with the Steel and we have the exciting challenge of building a new unit in 2022.”

Staying true to the Mystics values of growing their own talent from the Northern Zone, talented young defender Carys Stythe has also been named as a training partner.

Wilson believes Carys’ potential is incredibly exciting having impressed during this season’s National Netball League champion side the Northern Marvels.

“Carys came into our NNL program this year learning a lot about what it takes to be a high performance athlete. She is a quick learner and has progressed significantly in 2021. By immersing herself fully into the Mystics environment we can accelerate her development with some of the best defensive players in NZ supporting her growth.”

2022 Northern Mystics

Sulu Fitzpatrick
Phoenix Karaka
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson