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Mila adds Beko Netball League Player of the Year to accolades

Mila Reuelu-Buchanan has capped off a big few months named Beko Netball League Player of the Year, following the Grand Final in Auckland on Sunday.

The accolade is one of many for the Wellington-based midcourter who has been named in the NZU21s for Netball World Youth Cup 2017 (NWYC2017), made her ANZ Premiership debut, and captained the Netball Central side to the Beko Netball League title.

“It's just incredible. We’ve had such a successful season and it’s really good to finish it off with the win,” Reuelu-Buchanan said.

“I think I’ve had another year, and maybe a bit more maturity; the experiences I’ve had in the ANZ Premiership and playing against the Pulse have really toughened me up too.”

With NWYC2017 just around the corner, Reuelu-Buchanan has had the best preparation possible, training alongside and against the Pulse, as well as coming under the tutelage of Silver Ferns midcourt maestro Sandra Edge.

“Oh Sandy, man where do I start? One thing I always remember her telling me is just play good netball, don’t overthink it, just play good netball, do your job and do it well,” she said.

“That’s what Sandy always says to me, it’s never all these technical / tactical things, it’s just play good netball, and that’s what has been with me since I’ve known her.

“I think being able to be involved with the Pulse I’ve learnt so much being alongside the likes of Phoenix Karaka, Katrina Grant, Claire Kirsten. Usually when we play the Pulse I’m always up against Claire and she is probably my hardest opponent; I learn so much from her.”

Getting the phone call from NZU21s coach Kiri Wills was a “huge relief” for Reuelu-Buchanan. Involved in the squad from the start, it has been a long journey to get to this point, but she knows the toughest challenge is still to come.

“This has been a long process; I’ve been trying to prove every day that I’m good enough to be here, so I just can’t wait to put it all together and show why I should be in this team in Botswana,” Reuelu-Buchanan said.

“It’s a huge privilege; I’m representing New Zealand, representing my family so I think that I’m just really excited to be part of this great team.

“Mum and Dad, I mean what can you say, making the New Zealand team they were just super excited for me, and my family and my friends they’re all excited too. I think they wish they could be there to watch but I know that they will be with me in spirit.”

You can follow the progress of the NZU21s on their road to Botswana via their Online Hub. Here you’ll find news, profiles, fixture info and results - click here.