There were some huge improvements for the team and we definitely saw more of the sublime netball we’re used to in the Magic dress.

To reflect on the 2023 season, we asked three of the players to give us some insights….

What’s your highlight on the netball court with the team this ANZ Premiership season?

Claire Kersten: Definitely for me it was that overtime victory against the Mystics in Hamilton. We’d had one really close loss, one big loss and then we were down by ten goals at quarter time. To pull it back and then to win was epic.

Ivana Rowland: The best thing for our team this year was really being able to solidify our own structures in training and bring them out in games. There was a lot of growth for us as a team.

Bailey Mes: For me it was any of the one goal victories. I think in particular the Mystics overtime game – that was a goodie and such a sweet way to get the win.

What’s been the highlight for you with the team off the court this season?

CK: This is a really cool team to be part of. We live all over the region and Meels (Ameliaranne Ekenasio) flies in but we have a really great connection. I just really like our group. It’s fun and I will really miss everyone.

IR: For me off the court getting to be in this high-performance sport with cool people is a massive highlight. I love every single day. I feel lucky to be part of this group and team.

BM: The final round for me knowing I was retiring, everything that the team did made it really special. In the team talk before the Steel game the team had made a video montage with messages from Claire and my friends and family. It was super emotional and we pretty much cried for 15min straight watching but it was amazing.

Who’s been someone in the team that’s really impressed you this year?

CK: Georgie Edgecombe for me. She’s really continued to progress. Whether she starts or comes off the bench she always makes an impact. She’s got a really high work rate and I believe she’s got a massive future.

IR: Bailey Mes. She’s an incredible athlete and someone that I look up to. I’m really sad to see her retire but I’ve learnt so much from her in the past couple of years.

BM: Mons (Simmon Wilbore) for me has been impressive. She just quietly just gets on with her stuff and goes about her work. She’s really nuggetty on court and I think she’s had a great season.

Who’s been your best roommate?

CK: Bailey Mes. She better say me too lol.

IR: E (Erena Mikare). She’s so funny and she says I make her laugh because I sleep talk.

BM: I bet Claire will be annoyed if I don’t say her! Yes, Claire definitely. We’ve been really lucky with both of us signing out this season, I feel management let us room together the last three weeks. That’s been really special to me.

Who brings the best snacks to training and games?

CK: Because Bailey and I carpool together I have to say Bailey because she has upped her snack game. As a team we’ve done MasterChef on all our away games this year and that’s been awesome. MJ our coach was the final weekend and she was so nervous. We’re a competitive bunch so everyone brought their A game.

IR: Georgie Edgecombe is a really good baker and brings lots of different treats. Her Nan also bakes for her when she’s staying with her in Tauranga and sends her to training with the goods.

BM: I usually do! We loved doing MasterChef on away games and I have to mention to Amy (Christophers) carried a carrot cake to one of the early away games in her hand luggage. It was great too.

Who is always brings coffee to training?

CK: Both Myself and Bailey are probably the biggest coffee drinkers.

IR: There’s a few coffee addicts in the team. I have to say it’s Bailey who will put on the group chat that’s she’s doing a coffee run and always asks if anyone wants one.

BM: Claire, Meels and Me. Meels brings her own plunger away with us. Claire and I will source the goods from a café because coffee is non-negotiable.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt this season?

CK: I set out at the beginning of the season to really enjoy this time. It’s a fine balance between caring enough that you do the work you need to but also when you’re doing it you’ve got to have fun. It’s been such a privilege to be part of this team and I’m really going to miss everyone as I sign off.

IR: For me it’s about knowing that this is a space for learning even if you’re not getting the court time just yet. I’ve learnt more about being open to learning new things.

BM: There’s always a bigger picture and there’s always positives you can take forward, if you’re not getting the results. You have to enjoy it regardless of the outcomes. We have a really nice group and it’s been a huge privilege to be part of this team.

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