Midcourt pairing re-sign with Kia Magic

Press Release July 10, 2014

There was no hesitation from midcourters Grace Rasmussen and Courtney Tairi in re-signing with Kia Magic for the 2015 ANZ Championship netball season.

The pair was among the nine new faces who lined up for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty side which turned the form book on its head this season, the team exceeding all expectations to finish third.

The pair, who were both in the Silver Ferns mix for the Commonwealth Games, revelled at their new playing base and are keen to further develop their on-court connections next season,

``I’m absolutely happy with my decision and look forward to another season with the Magic,’’ the fleet-footed Rasmussen said.

Unlucky not to make the Silver Ferns team for this month’s Glasgow Games, Rasmussen, 26, had a stellar season with her inventive play on attack, speed and precision feeding

``I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my season with the Magic, particularly under the coaching of Julie Fitzgerald,’’ she said. ``After speaking with my partner and family, re-signing with the Magic was an easy choice.

``Obviously with the results we had this year, I would hope we can retain that momentum going forward and continue to work on our connections.’’

Tairi, 25, has returned to her home base in Sydney to continue her studies but said she was very happy to be returning to Magic next year.

``The decision was very easy,’’ she said. ``I love the team and the franchise and am very happy to still be part of the Kia Magic family.’’

A first choice in her more favoured position of centre this season, Tairi, who posted her 50th match in the league during the recent campaign after stints with NSW Swifts and Southern Steel, is excited by the prospects for next year.

``I really enjoyed the year we had as a team and I know we are looking to build on what we accomplished this year,’’ she said.

``I believe we have put some solid foundations in place as a team and can only grow stronger in 2015.’’

Rasmussen and Tairi join classy defender Casey Kopua as Magic’s signings so far for next year’s roster.

After building the team from scratch this year, coach Fitzgerald is delighted to have retained the midcourt duo.

``It’s great to have Courtney and Grace back in Magic colours for 2015,’’ she said. ``Their partnership in the midcourt has come together well and they complement each other on court. There is still room for them to develop and I'm excited that we have the opportunity to continue building. It takes time to develop the understanding of great attacking units and I feel we now have that opportunity with their return.’’

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