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Key cog Kersten back for Pulse in 2018

August 11, 2017
Key cog Kersten back for Pulse in 2018

Armed with renewed purpose after an exceptional 2017, rock-solid midcourter Claire Kersten had no hesitation in re-signing with Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse for next year’s ANZ Premiership netball competition.

Acknowledged by her peers as their Player of the Year, Kersten caught everyone’s attention this season, the late bloomer having a campaign to savour on the back of more regular court time.

``The difference this year compared with my other years involved with the Pulse was the amount of game time that I had which is huge and we had an awesome team environment which obviously contributes to your enjoyment as well,’’ she said

A hard-working and consistent performer, the 28-year-old Wellington secondary school teacher received the highest recognition when gaining a Silver Ferns trial. Unlucky to miss the final cut, Kersten, however, was selected in the Silver Ferns Development Squad which has fuelled the desire to keep improving.

``I’m really excited about next year with the Pulse,’’ she said. ``What’s great is that we’ve got some continuity from this season going through to next season which is really important.

``We’re not going to be the exact same team but it’s really awesome that we’ve managed to retain a core group while also getting some exciting new talent.

``I’ve got lots of little personal goals for next year and thinking big picture, I would love to be in that Silver Ferns framework. Making the Development Squad is a step in the right direction and so that’s another big thing to work towards as well.’’
In planning for next year, Kersten’s signing was an important part of the picture for Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie.

``She is so critical in lots of ways,’’ the coach said. ``She’s a senior leader. She leads by example in terms of her work ethic and also just as a player, in being a starting line player and a key component of our defensive unit. It’s really important to have her back and I’m really delighted.’’

Physically and mentally strong, Kersten has a calm on-court presence, McCausland-Durie highlighting her immense contribution to the defence line from the oft-unrecognised position of wing defence as well as her impressive through-court support play.

``Getting a trial this year, has been brilliant for her and making the Development Squad signals that she’s in a good space in terms of opportunities that may come up later in the year,’’ she said.

``It’s huge for her to get to this point and now it’s about that consistency which will be the challenge for the whole team next year. We all have to start again and build our way back but all those experiences including the trials and having more game time under her belt will add significantly to her confidence, knowledge and awareness of what she needs to do.

``She’s an incredibly athletic and dedicated player and I think she’s had a fantastic season…..first time at a New Zealand trial and to make the Development Squad, that’s huge.’’

The Pulse have now confirmed nine of their roster for 2018: Claire Kersten, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Aliyah Dunn, Sulu Fitzpatrick, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Katrina Grant, Tiana Metuarau, Whitney Souness, Karin Burger.

ENDS.


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