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ANZ Premiership: Recruitment chess game gathers speed

The first of the 2023 ANZ Premiership player announcements have begun, with the title-winning Pulse recruiting international shooter Joyce Mvula.

Malawi international Joyce Mvula

Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse announced yesterday that standout shooter Aliyah Dunn, a stalwart for the Pulse since 2018, was seeking new challenges elsewhere.

RNZ understands Dunn has been signed with the Tactix, while they’ve parted ways with goal shoot Ellie Bird, who had been with the side since 2017.

It’s understood the Tactix, who finished last this year, have also signed a midcourter from the England Roses, who will be their starting wing attack.

With her high volume and accuracy Dunn topped the shooting statistics this year and the Pulse would have been keen to lock in a player who has a similar presence.

Mvula, 28, has plied her trade in the UK Super League since 2017 for the Manchester Thunder where she played a key role in the team’s unbeaten run to the title this year.

Over the past three years, she has achieved a 91 percent success rate under the hoop.

The 1.85m Mvula is also a star turn in the Malawi international team and has featured at World Cup and Commonwealth Games.

Midcourter Fa’amu Ioane has also joined the Pulse from the Northern Mystics, where her elite level career began in 2016.

The 26-year-old has predominantly played wing defence but struggled to get court time this year.

The core of this year’s Pulse side have been retained.

Rangy defender Parris Mason and exciting midcourter Ainsleyana Puleiata make the leap up from sister team Manawa, who won this year’s National Netball League.

A bolter straight out of school in the 2021 Pulse team, Mason, 19, dropped back to the Manawa team this year to continue the development of her game while also being a Pulse training partner.

Puleiata, 21, has previously been a Pulse training partner while also adding cover this year for the Pulse.

Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said was happy to have a core group of six coming back.

“Joyce and Fa’amu are experienced and well-credentialled performers who will add variety and options for us. They are exciting additions and we look forward to what they can bring.”

Courtney Elliot, one of the Pulse’s replacement players this season, will be returning next year as a training partner.

The franchise will support Paris Lokotui and Binnian Hunt in their rehabilitation from ACL injuries and will be eased back through the national league.

The six ANZ Premiership franchises have to have their rosters of 10 complete by July 8th.

Franchises can’t start approaching players from other teams until one week after the ANZ Premiership grand final but players themselves may initiate discussions with other franchises.

2023 Pulse team:

Maddy Gordon, Fa’amu Ioane, Kelly Jury, Kristiana Manu’a, Parris Mason, Tiana Metuarau, Joyce Mvula, Ainsleyana Puleiata, Whitney Souness, Amelia Walmsley.

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