Taking time out for the birth of her first child in 2021, athletic defender Phoenix Karaka made a strong return last season and is back for the Mystics in 2023. At the peak of her powers when embracing the captaincy in 2019-20 and thriving with the extra responsibility, Karaka delivered a standout 2019 season to earn an international recall and a spot in the Silver Ferns Netball World Cup winning team. That was followed up with a bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Karaka has an impressive pedigree, including being a member of the 2013 NZU21 gold medal-winning World Youth Cup team. Comfortable playing both in-circle defensive positions, Karaka has a strong all-round skill set with her movement, ball handling and ability in the air. Showing her versatility, Karaka didn’t look out of place when having a stint at wing defence for the Silver Ferns during 2022.