Robyn Broughton no doubt has a smile from ear to ear as she builds towards another impressive season with the Haier Pulse. In just her second year coaching the club, she has amassed one of the most talented groupings of players in the competition, all offering huge potential to help bring the ANZ Championship silverware down to the Wellington region.
2013 Team List
Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit
Gains: Claire Kersten, Liana Leota, Donna Wilkins
Losses: Katarina Cooper, Jamilah Gupwell, Ngarama Milner-Olsen
After a breakthrough year in the 2012 ANZ Championship, it is important for the Pulse to consolidate on what that they were able to deliver last season. With the fresh thinking approach from Broughton, the side managed to string together a number of wins and were competitive many of their matches.
“The experience and professional hard-nosed approach to winning from Donna Wilkins and Liana Leota will be welcomed as the Haier Pulse strives to improve its 2012 placing and cement a spot in the top four,” Broughton said.
Katrina Grant is back to captain her side after dominating the Goal Keeper position during the season where she featured in the top ten players for intercepts, rebounds and deflections. Her vice- captain in Joline Henry returns post-baby and with Camilla Lees stepping up in the mid court, the team has a strong base of experience.
Australian Diamonds squad member Caitlin Thwaites will team up with Wilkins and Paula Griffen in the shooting end, whilst Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit returns to the defensive end.
“The fresh thinking and new approach has already been evident in our pre-season training…Victoria Smith, Amber Bellringer, Daya Wiffen and Claire Kersten played in the Glasgow World Super Club Championships in December and all proved they are very capable of doing their part within the Pulse game plan.”
Player to watch
The return of former Silver Fern Liana Leota to the ANZ Championship has created a huge buzz in netball circles. After a year out of the game living in the UK while husband Johnny Leota played rugby for the Sale Sharks, fans are eagerly awaiting her return to the court.
Broughton describes Leota as” hard-nosed, determined and knows what it takes to be part of a winning team,” all of these qualities which made her the 2010 ANZ Championship MVP and recently saw her named MVP in the 2012 World Premier Club Challenge held in Glasgow only a few months ago.
Teaming up with her former coach at the Pulse, the excitement factor is high as Leota gets ready to stamp her authority on the 2013 ANZ Championship season.