Stars name exciting squad for 2023 season
The Robinhood Stars have retained a large number of their core, while adding some exciting new faces to their squad for the 2024 ANZ Premiership season.
The experienced Maia Wilson and Amorangi Malesala will spearhead the shooting end, with Rahni Samason joining the Stars after spending time with the Melbourne Vixens in Australia.
Samason can play both shooting positions and has strong links to New Zealand through her father who was born in the Cook Islands and lived in South Auckland.
In the midcourt, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Samon Nathan and Holly Fowler are back, with Emma Thompson given an opportunity to impress after a strong Synergy Hair Netball League campaign with Mainland, while she was also a training partner with the Trident Homes Tactix.
Having spent time playing in New Zealand and Australia, Thompson is also eligible for both countries.
The addition of Kate Burley has bolstered the Stars’ defensive stocks, while Kelera Nawai-Caucau will get a chance to build on a great first campaign in the purple dress.
Promising prospect Lili Tokaduadua has been rewarded with a contract after a stand out season with the Comets in the National Netball League and she took the court for the Stars during pre-season and was on the bench for some games during the ANZ Premiership season.
Primarily a defender, Tokaduadua is also capable at the shooting end and is a member of the New Zealand secondary schools team.
Gina Crampton, Elle Temu, Jamie Hume and Lisa Putt depart the Stars after all making meaningful contributions in the purple dress.
Stars coach Kiri Wills is excited about what her 2024 squad can be capable of.
“We’ve had some consistency in the last few years which has helped us get into two grand finals and while I like consistency, I also think having some fresh new faces is going to be really good for us this season.” Wills said.
“We will be a little bit different to what we have been, so we'll be less predictable and we'll be able to do some different things.”
Wills believes she’s pieced together a well-rounded squad that’s going to force her to make tough team selections when the season starts.
“We always recruit a competitive squad, I like to have genuine selection pressure for all seven positions. It helps keep intensity and accountability high.”
Robinhood Stars 2024 ANZ Premiership squad: