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Pulse shooter continues rapid rise

Playing both shooting roles, Amelia Walmsley continues to expand her skillset at the Pulse in 2024. Photo: PhotoWellington

Key scoring weapon Amelia Walmsley has quickly gone from rookie to senior pro at the shooting end for Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse in the early rounds of the ANZ Premiership netball league.

Hot on the heels of a breakout 2023 season at the elite level, injury to fellow shooter Tiana Metuarau has thrust the willowy Walmsley into the new challenges of playing both shooting roles while upping her leadership involvement at the attack end.

The injury to Metuarau has resulted in a shuffling of the Pulse shooting ranks with Khiarna Williams, on the comeback trail from serious injury, and training partner Kiana Pelasio sharing the scoring duties with Walmsley.

Walmsley, 20, has made every post a winner since bursting into the starting line-up last season and playing every game.

``I always like to be challenged and everything has moved at quite a fast pace, but I’m really just trying to relish the challenge,’’ Walmsley said.

``Tiana has a very specific style and we’ve had to make some adjustments to the way we play but it’s been working well.

``Kiana (Pelasio) brings her own style of play and is super fast, so we just try and use her strengths while after such a long time out Khiarna (Williams) has slotted in so nicely after doing so much work behind the scenes to get back to this level.’’

The influential presence and leadership of experienced midcourters Whitney Souness and Maddy Gordon remains a key driver to the inner workings of the attack line.

``Their leadership and the way they direct play down that end is key,’’ Walmsley said. ``They have a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge. They work so hard which makes everybody else’s job so much easier. They are great leaders to have at the front end.’’

Elevated to the Silver Ferns following a stellar 2023 campaign, Walmsley was given her first opportunity since school days to have some time learning the goal attack position during the Nations Cup tournament in England earlier this year.

And now, has found herself rotating between both shooting positions for the Pulse, happily expanding her credentials across the goal shoot and goal attack roles.

``Now being able to run with that opportunity I had in England at the Pulse while continuing to learn and build on that knowledge, has been really exciting for me,’’ she said.

``There’s still a long, long way to go in that space but it’s definitely cool to be able to just try and add something else to the toolkit.’’

Opening their season with back-to-back wins, the Pulse are on full alert for their next outing against an improving Southern Steel in Wellington on Sunday. Historically, the southerners have been something of a bogey team for the Pulse.

``There’s definitely no complacency coming into this one,’’ Walmsley said. ``They certainly stepped up in their most recent game and I was super impressed by their performance. They’re going to be really hungry for a win and they’ll come out fighting.

``While we have won two weeks in a row, there’s a lot of room for improvement. There’s still a long way to go which is exciting because we’ve definitely not hit our peak yet.’’

Studying for a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in digital marketing, Walmsley shares a flat with team-mates and fellow TikTok queens Gordon and Parris Mason.

Recovering from a foot injury, Metuarau is no longer wearing a moonboot and is swimming and cycling but is likely to be off the netball court for another week or two yet.



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