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Tone-Fitzpatrick and Loveday sign with the Northern Mystics

Tone-Fitzpatrick and Loveday sign with the Northern Mystics

15 August 2014

New Zealand representative netballer Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick will return to the Northern Mystics next year.

The defender, who started her ANZ Championship netball career with the team as a 17-year-old, will be back in a Mystics’ uniform in 2015 after stints with the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and Southern Steel.

Auckland-based Tone-Fitzpatrick will further strengthen the Mystics’ defensive end, which boasts fellow young guns Kayla Cullen and Temalisi Fakahokotau.

Experienced Mystics defender Anna Harrison, a member of the Silver Ferns Commonwealth Games team, has announced she is pregnant with her second child.

Tone-Fitzpatrick is looking forward to getting back into top-level netball after giving birth to twins – a boy and a girl – in December. “I think I am a good mix of nervous and excited,” she says of her return to the ANZ Championship after a year’s break.

She is also looking forward to playing alongside Cullen again – the pair were in representative age-group netball and basketball teams together – and rejoining a team that has a good mix of youth and maturity.

Tone-Fitzpatrick, who is almost 22, has captained the NZ Under 21 team and played a test for the Silver Ferns in 2011.

Speedy midcourter Nadia Loveday will also be returning to the team next year. The 20-year-old has had minor surgery to an ankle during the off-season and can’t wait to get back to the cut and thrust of the trans-Tasman league. Her 2014 season for the Mystics, she says, “went way too quickly”.

“I'm pretty excited,” says the Aucklander, who aims to build on the court time she earned last season. “I just want to keep improving on and off the court. I'm excited to have Camilla [Lees] on board ¬– she plays with a lot of heart and skill – and I want to learn off her.”

She’s also looking forward to re-establishing connections she made with her 2014 Mystics team-mates. “Those good relationships just transfer on to the court.”

Mystics coach Deb Fuller says both players are hungry to improve and understand the hard yards required to compete at ANZ level.

“Nadia came on for us last season and grew with each game.”

Sulu, she says, performed strongly for the Netball Northern Zone’s under-23 team this year.

ENDS

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