Kia Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic announce replacement players

Kia Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic are pleased to announce two replacement players for the 2015 ANZ Championship season.

Aisha Bower earns her spot as temporary cover for injured captain Casey Kopua while Kristiana Manu’a has been named as a permanent replacement player for Bessie Manu.

Manu’a fills the void left by Bessie Manu who was granted an early release from her ANZ Championship contract for a career move to England, while Bower is a former New Zealand Secondary Schools defender, contracted to Kia Magic as a training partner and now temporary cover for Kopua as she continues to recover from major knee surgery and defender Kelly Jury who is recovering from an Achilles injury.

Coach of Kia Magic Julie Fitzgerald says it’s exciting to add two young talented players to the Kia Magic roster.

“These opportunities for players don’t come along very often and I know both Aisha and Kristiana will make the most of every minute at Kia Magic,” she said.

“Aisha will be able to play and train with Leana (de Bruin) and learn from the insight’s Casey will impart as she continues to work on her rehabilitation. Aisha has proven she has the natural ability and commitment to develop her game and is an exciting prospect.”

“Kristiana is a player I have watched for several years.  She displays great anticipation and can be an intimidating defender so it will be interesting to watch her step up to this level,” Fitzgerald said.

New Zealand born, Manu’a has been part of the Australian 21/Under squad and Under 17 level and has ANZ Championship experience, drafted into the NSW Swifts in 2013 as a replacement player. She has played in NSW representative teams since 2011 at the U17 and U21 level most recently as 2014.

Both players will be permanently based in Hamilton and will join the Kia Magic squad in early January.

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