3 Sep 2018

New-look Magic for 2019

11:23 am on 3 September 2018

The return of key defenders Casey Kopua and Kelly Jury along with a new look shooting circle feature in the Magic's 2019 line-up.

Waikato Bay of Plenty Casey Kopua will return from injury in 2019

Waikato Bay of Plenty Casey Kopua will return from injury in 2019 Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz

Silver Fern duo Kopua and Jury return from injury for next year's ANZ Premiership which starts in February.

Joining the experienced them is new signing Jenna O'Sullivan who makes the step up from the Beko Netball League. O'Sullivan made a seamless transition into the Premiership when called on to cover injury late in the season.

It will however be a new-look shooting circle for the Magic with South African Lenize Potgeiter moving to Southern Steel. Kelsey McPhee has earned a promotion to the ANZ Premiership as reward for a stand-out season with Waikato-BOP in the Beko Netball League.

New Zealand-born shooter Abigail Latu-Meafou is another new face in the side having played for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the 2018 Australian Super League.

Latu-Meafou, was born in Auckland but grew up playing Netball in Ipswich, Australia. She made her debut in the Super League in 2017 as an injury-replacement player for Queensland before joining the Thunderbirds.

Both she and McPhee join Monica Falkner who will suit up for her third season in Waikato-BOP Magic colours.

The mid-court has a settled look to it with Silver Fern star Samantha Sinclair an experience cog through the middle, alongside Ariana Cable-Dixon.

Sydney Fraser returns from an injury-plagued two years while Lisa Mather, who made her Magic debut earlier this year as injury cover, is also included.

New coach Amigene Metcalfe said she was looking forward to working with the mix of experienced players and new signings.

"It's exciting to have both Casey and Kelly back from injury after what was a tough season, and the experience they will bring to the Magic's defence is really important to us," she said.

"There's a really good mix for the Magic and we can't wait to put it all together for the new Premiership season."

They may have been one of the sides making a bid for Central Pulse shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio once news broke that Potgieter was leaving.

Central Pulse shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio

Central Pulse shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz

The Silver Fern has confirmed that she will be staying in black and yellow for 2019 fending off multiple offers from other franchises.

"After such a rocky ride this season, I definitely had to look at all my options but after weighing everything up, feel I have made the right decision to stay put," Ekenasio says.

"I'm definitely family based so that means I get to stay with my family which is good and I firmly believe in what we are trying to build here at the Pulse and across the Zone and that's exciting."