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New faces in Netball Mainland Beko squad

Netball Mainland has injected some new faces into its 2017 Beko Netball League squad but has plenty of experience to call on for its looming campaign.

Newcomers Mahara Feala, Tiana Placid and Kayla Williams – who all featured in last year’s premier club grand final in Christchurch – will join a squad of 10 for the national competition which runs from early April until June.

Feala (mid-courter) and Placid (shooter) were key members in guiding their Technical club side to the final for the first time while Williams is a dynamic defender who was a stand-out for premier club champions Kereru.

The side includes former Mainland Tactix players Sophia Fenwick and Chloe Williamson along with Lily Marshall who was a member of the New Zealand Secondary Schools team last year.

The 10-strong squad will also be joined by four Mainland Tactix training partners including Caitlin Dowden, Olivia Coughlan, and Kate Lloyd – who were part of Mainland’s Beko Netball League campaign last year – as well as Fijian-born defender Kelera Nawai who has been on a scholarship at St Andrew’s College in Christchurch for the past two-and-a-half years. They will join the side after March 19.

New Mainland coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek said she was excited to work with the blend of experienced players, who were part of last year’s side, and some fresh faces who were ready to take the next step.

“I think we’ve got a dynamic group who play an exciting style of Netball and we can’t wait to start building for the start of the 2017 Beko Netball League,” she said.

Now in its second year, the Beko Netball League was introduced to strengthen the development of talent and competitiveness of Netball New Zealand’s elite teams.

In 2017, six teams will play a double round robin culminating in a Grand Final with South the inaugural winners last year.

Mainland squad: Bella James, Ellie Bird, Mahara Feala, Jess Shaw, Chloe Williamson, Lily Marshall, Tiana Placid, Kayla Williams, Lily Fletcher, Sophia Fenwick. Caitlin Dowden, Olivia Coughlan, Kate Lloyd, Kelera Nawai (to join squad after March 19).