Wellington Scoop

Experienced defender and rookie midcourter team up with Pulse

News from Central Pulse
Well-travelled defender Sulu Fitzpatrick and talented young homegrown midcourter Mila Reuelu-Buchanan are the latest Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse signings for next year’s ANZ Premiership netball competition.

A former New Zealand Secondary School representative and NZU21 captain, the strongly-built Fitzpatrick, 25, burst onto the scene as a schoolgirl in 2010 when turning out for the Northern Mystics.

Making the Silver Ferns squad in 2011 as a 19-year-old and playing a one-off test against England the same year, the 1.88m Fitzpatrick, a mobile and aerially-strong in-circle defender, is looking to enhance her career with the Pulse.

“When the opportunity came up, I couldn’t say no,’’ she said. “A big pull was the calibre of coaching at the Pulse, not just Yvette (McCausland-Durie) who I know from my time in the under-21s but knowing that Wai (Taumaunu) and Sandra (Edge) were part of it as well was huge.

“And it was about the environment. They were very successful this year and I’ve only heard good things so that was another big plus.’’

Fitzpatrick has aspirations to push for higher honours and her starting point is the Pulse.

“First and foremost, I just want to be the best netballer I can be,’’ she said. “After having my twins (2014), I haven’t quite got there. This year (with Northern Stars) was a step in the right direction but next year I want to improve in all aspects to become a more versatile player and that all starts with the little things.’’

A member of this year’s NZU21 World Youth Cup winning team completed a stellar year for the fleet-footed Reuelu-Buchanan, 19, who captained an unbeaten Central to the Beko Netball League title while also being involved as a Pulse training partner.

Becoming a fully-fledged Pulse player is a dream come true for the exciting young prospect.

“It has always been a dream of mine to play for a franchise team and it’s an absolute privilege to know that I am going to be playing for the Pulse as I’m from the region and am just over the moon,’’ she said.

“I was really fortunate to get more of an opportunity than I thought I would as a training partner this year, so I’m looking forward to just getting more experience of what it’s like playing at such a high level while also learning off my team-mates and opponents to become a better player.’’

McCausland-Durie is excited by the dynamics the experienced Fitzpatrick and rookie Reuelu-Buchanan will bring to the Pulse mix.

“Sulu is an experienced goalkeeper, having previously been a NZU21 squad member and playing at ANZ level for both the Mystics and the Stars in recent seasons,’’ she said. “She has strong tactical awareness and is renowned for attacking ball with power and mobility.

“Mila has previously been a training partner with the Pulse and is now elevated through her strong performances through successful Beko and NZU21 campaigns in 2017. She is energetic, strong and tenacious in her play and is well known in the Central Zone, having played all her school and representative netball in Wellington.’’

Fitzpatrick and Reuelu-Buchanan join Katrina Grant, Tiana Metuarau, Whitney Souness and Karin Burger as confirmed signings for the 2018 edition of the Pulse.