The re-signing of defender Louise Thayer and mid-courter Keshia Grant has finalised the Mainland Tactix roster of 12 players for the 2015 ANZ Championship season.
Both Thayer and Grant signed on the dotted line for the Tactix for the third consecutive year and complete a core of players staying with the Mainland team.
The full complement of players is: Demelza Fellowes (Australia), Keshia Grant, Gemma Hazeldine, Mwai Kumwenda (Malawi), Nicola Mackle, Bailey Mes, Jess Moulds, Erikana Pedersen, Hayley Saunders, Louise Thayer, Anna Thompson and Zoe Walker. Eight of the 12 players are returning to the Christchurch-based team for next season.
Netball Mainland CEO Brigit Hearn says she’s thrilled with the calibre of players committing to the Tactix for the 2015 ANZ Championship season.
“I am delighted with the exciting talent we have in our squad and can’t wait until the players gather together for pre-season training later in the year,” she said.
“We are all determined to create a new chapter in the history of the Tactix.
Grant played for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in 2008, Northern Mystics 2009-2011 and the Tactix since 2013, while 26 year-old Thayer played one season with the Southern Steel before moving up to the Mainland team in 2013. Grant has played 45 matches in the league since 2008, while Thayer has notched up 24 matches over three years.
Hearn says the team learnt a lot over the 2014 season and while the results on the scoreboard didn’t reflect the effort put in, the team made steady improvements and showed a lot of promise.
“To have retained eight of the core team from 2014, including fabulous shooter Mwai, is very exciting for us and to have secured the services of Demelza, Bailey, Gemma and Erikana is the injection of youth and experience the team needs,” Hearn said.
The team will be coached by renowned Australian netball coach Sue Hawkins.