After the longest pre-season the AVIS Magic have faced for some time, captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio is pumped to get on court for Round 1 of the ANZ Premiership this weekend.

“There’s been some super hard days and big days this pre-season. Ultimately we’ve all made it and we’re excited to get on court this weekend at home,” Ekenasio said.

After a break from Silver Ferns international duties over the New Zealand summer, Ekenasio is committed to adding to the Magic legacy her third season in the Waikato Bay of Plenty colours.

With new faces in the team and management for 2024, Ekenasio feels everyone has found their feet and she has been super impressed by the attitude of the ‘newbies’.

“There is a real willingness to work. To be better and the intent is just awesome.

“We might not be perfect at the start of the competition but it’s how we deal and grow with the journey throughout the season.”

The 2024 ANZ Premiership opens with the AVIS Magic playing host to reigning champions the MG Mystics on Saturday April 13 in Hamilton – the first game of 15 rounds in the extended competition.

In 2024 the Magic will celebrate 25 years of the franchise. Ekenasio remembers in her early days in the ANZ Championship looking to the Magic as the most feared New Zealand team in the league.

“The Magic were unstoppable - not just the players but the entire team.

“Who ever thought I’d be playing for the Magic in the end!”

Collectively the Magic team have big goals for the 2024 season and Ekenasio feels there’s a lot of drive within every team member to achieve higher honours.

Individually Ekenasio, who travels into the region every week from her family base in Wellington, feels she’s genuinely got a lot more to give to the team.

“I’m a really stubborn person. I don’t like giving up easily and I really want this team to thrive. I believe we can.

“The want to win is huge.”

Saturday, 4pm: AVIS Magic v MG Mystics; Globox Arena, Hamilton
Live on Sky Sport and free to air on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ+

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