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Talented young trio named as Pulse training partners

Madison Thomas, left, and Rachel Price, along with Kiana Pelasio have been named as Pulse training partners for 2024. Photo: PhotoWellington

Three players on the rise will get the opportunity to further advanced their credentials as Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse training partners for the 2024 ANZ Premiership netball league.

Shooter Kiana Pelasio, midcourter/defender Rachel Price and defender Madison Thomas were all part of the Central Manawa team which went on to clinch this year’s Synergy Hair Netball League (SHNL) title.

In her first season in Wellington this year after spending most of her life in Dunedin, talented attacker Pelasio was also a Pulse training partner in 2023. She was a fully contracted player with the Southern Steel in 2021 and predominantly plays goal attack but in recent seasons has also touched a little on the wing attack role.

Both Price and Thomas, who were recently named in the NZU21 squad, were Pulse apprentice training partners this year.

Making up for lost time after a back injury meant extended time on the side-lines, the rangy 1.84m Thomas marked her return to action with a stellar campaign in the 2023 SHNL. Plying her trade from the custodian’s position of goalkeeper, the mobile defender continually impressed with her ability to create turnover opportunities on the back of staunch defence.

Still in the infancy of her career, defender-come-midcourter Price has made every post a winner since coming from the fringes to full playing status in the SHNL.

From training partner in 2022, Price transitioned to fully-fledged team member in 2023, adding her spark to the Manawa side while showcasing her speed, aerial skills and ball-hunting abilities.

Swinging between goal defence and wing defence to best suit the occasion, the challenge of having to reinvent herself for each opposition is one Price relishes.

Having achieved her major goal of making the Manawa team in 2023, Price also got her first taste at the elite level when gaining some decent court time with the Pulse during the pre-season tournament in Ōtaki.

``We’re delighted to welcome Kiana, Rachel and Madison into our environment as training partners,’’ Pulse coach Anna Andrews-Tasola said.

``They all have exciting potential and we’re looking forward to having them in the mix and helping further develop and refine their careers.’’



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