WBOP Magic and NSW Swifts Stars to entertain in Te Awamutu

Media Release
28 January 2016

Close connections between the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic and New South Wales Swifts have paved the way for confirmation today of a preseason encounter between the two sides in Te Awamutu on Wednesday, 17 February at 6:00pm.

“This preseason period lays the foundation for the ANZ Championship season ahead, so it’s a real boost to our preparations to be able to play a team of the Swifts’ calibre,” said WBOP Magic coach Julie Fitzgerald.

“We often seem to meet in the playoffs, including the last two seasons, so what better way to make sure we’re building towards the standard we’ll need come competition time?

“We’re also really looking forward to playing the game in front of our fans in Te Awamutu as part of our ongoing commitment to representing the whole Waikato Bay of Plenty region, following preseason games in Taupo and Tokoroa last year.”    

In addition to meeting each other in the last two post-seasons, playoff encounters between the two sides stem right back to the inaugural ANZ Championship season in 2008 when Julie Fitzgerald coached the NSW Swifts to victory over the WBOP Magic in the grand final.  Her assistant then was Rob Wright, now the team’s head coach.

“The quality of athlete and standard of netball in the ANZ Championship continues to elevate with every season,” Rob Wright said. 

“We have five new faces in our roster and this preseason game against the Magic will be the team’s first real hit out together.

“The Magic and the Swifts have forged an exciting trans-Tasman rivalry over the years and this game will provide our coaching panel with a great opportunity to test a number of combinations against strong New Zealand opposition,” concluded Wright.

In another connection between the two franchises, long-time Magic star Laura Langman will head to Te Awamutu with her new Sydney based teammates.  She bolsters an already powerful line-up that was tantalisingly close to winning last year’s ANZ Championship and includes four members of last year’s Netball World Cup winning Australian Diamonds team.
With the Magic also boasting an impressive squad with plenty of international experience, fans are expected to snap up tickets and sell-out the 800 capacity Trust Waikato Te Awamutu Events Centre.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty office or the Te Awamutu i-Site Visitor Centre from 9:00am, 5 February, with sales at the match venue on the night if not sold out prior.  Magic members will be given a preferential purchase window from 2-4 February.  All tickets will be general admission with adults $15 and children $8 (16 and under).  Magic memberships can be purchased at memberships.ticketek.co.nz/magic.