International shooter Joyce Mvula and athletic midcourter Fa’amu Ioane will add to a rich tapestry of talent when joining Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse for the 2023 ANZ Premiership netball league.
Accurate and athletic, Mvula, 28, has left an impressive imprint at the Manchester Thunder in the UK Super League where she has plied her trade since 2017 while also playing a pivotal role in the team’s unbeaten run to the title this year. Over the past three years, she has achieved a 91 percent success rate under the hoop.
Able to play both shooting positions, the 1.85m Mvula is also a star turn in the crowd favourite Malawi international team and has featured at World Cup and Commonwealth Games tournaments.
A quality midcourter, Fa’amu, 26, makes the move south from the Mystics where her elite level career began in 2016. A World Youth Cup winner with the 2017 NZ U21 team, Fa’amu, athletic and fleet of foot, has predominantly played wing defence while in more recent times has also developed her game at centre.
The core of this year’s title-winning team, shooters Amelia Walmsley and Tiana Metuarau, midcourters Whitney Souness and Maddy Gordon, and the in-circle defensive pairing of Kristiana Manu’a and Kelly Jury will all be back in 2023.
Adding a youthful element, but certainly no strangers to the Pulse environment, rangy defender Parris Mason and exciting midcourter Ainsleyana Puleiata make the leap up to elite level from sister team Manawa, who won this year’s Synergy Hair Netball League.
A bolter straight out of school in the 2021 Pulse team, Mason, 19, dropped back to the Manawa team this year to continue the development of her goal defence game and regular playing time while also being a Pulse training partner.
Blessed with an abundance of speed, creativity and deft feeding skills, Puleiata, 21, has long been earmarked as a special talent but has had to bide her time after major injury setbacks. She has previously been a Pulse training partner while also adding valuable cover this year during the challenges thrown up by Covid and injury.
Apart from her sparkling athletic talents, Puleiata has developed a strong mental fortitude and created her own inspirational story after bouncing back from two ACL ruptures during her young career.
Key injury replacement player Erikana Pedersen has signed off in style after claiming an elusive winner’s medal with the Pulse before heading into retirement.
``We’re excited by the blend of talent we’ve secured for next season and the opportunity to further develop our style of play,’’ returning Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.
``Retention is always important and we’re delighted to have a core group of six coming back while Ainsleyana and Parris are very familiar with our set-up and we look forward to them being fully-contracted members of the team.
``Joyce and Fa’amu are experienced and well-credentialled performers who will add variety and options for us. They are exciting additions and we look forward to what they can bring.
``We’re also delighted that Courtney Elliot, one of our replacement players in the 2022 season, will be returning next year in a training partner capacity and look forward to seeing her game grow again in 2023.”
More training partners will be named at a later date.
Highly valued members of the squad, Paris Lokotui and Binnian Hunt have both recently undergone ACL (knee) surgery and medical advice indicates a 9 – 12-month rehabilitation period.
As a result, the franchise will support them in their rehabilitation and when they make a return, it will be through a national league pathway so they don’t experience any additional pressure.
2023 Pulse team:
Maddy Gordon, Fa’amu Ioane, Kelly Jury, Kristiana Manu’a, Parris Mason, Tiana Metuarau, Joyce Mvula, Ainsleyana Puleiata, Whitney Souness, Amelia Walmsley.
For media enquiries and interview requests, please contact:
Jane Hunt | Media & Communications Manager
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