New-look shooting combination for Pulse

News from Netball Central Zone
Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Aliyah Dunn will form part of a new-look shooting combination for Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse in next year’s ANZ Premiership netball competition.

New mum Ekenasio is welcomed back to the Pulse fold after missing the 2017 season through pregnancy while rising young talent Dunn has been lured north from Invercargill.

Silky-skilled Ekenasio, 26, who has 12 Silver Ferns caps to her name, is looking to reignite her career while the long-limbed Dunn, 17, in the infancy of her career, is hoping to build on her latest achievement as a member of this year’s World Youth Cup winning New Zealand under-21 team.

Ekenasio, who played for the Pulse in 2015 and 2016, is still coming to grips with motherhood after the birth of son Ocean eight weeks ago but was back playing club netball within three weeks.

“I can’t wait to really get back into things with the Pulse,’’ she said. “I’ve never sat on the sideline like that before so it was a big change for me.
“I’ve had a few weeks of playing club which is still pretty fresh but it’s so good to be back out on court.’’

With Tiana Metuarau, another teenaged prodigy in the Pulse shooting mix, Ekenasio is welcoming the role of senior pro and taking the youngsters under her wing.
“It was a role I was supposed to have this season and I’m definitely more than happy to take on a leadership position for that part of the court and with the young players,’’ she said.

“Yvette (McCausland-Durie, coach) has done a great job with the girls and it will just be about how we can make that even better next year.’’

As with Ekenasio, Dunn, who stands a shade under 1.9m, can play both goal attack and goal shoot, giving the Pulse plenty of options and variety on attack.
A member of the South Beko Netball League team this year and acting as injury cover for the Southern Steel, Dunn is a product of Verdon College, in Invercargill, which has proved a bountiful netball nursery over the years.

“I am excited about my move to Wellington,’’ the teenager said. “I am a little nervous but this is a great opportunity to spread my wings and challenge myself in a new environment.

“I am looking forwarding to becoming part of the Pulse team and learning all I can from their experienced players and coaching staff.’’

Dunn, who is also hoping to do some study in Wellington, will reunite with fellow NZU21 players Metuarau and Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, the trio this time lining up together in Pulse colours.

McCausland-Durie has hailed the addition of the shooting pair which will add height, movement and variety to the attacking end.

“Aliyah has been a member of New Zealand Secondary School teams and was recently part of the winning NZU21 team,’’ she said. “She has great potential, is a tall shooter with real presence and for her age, wonderful calmness in the heat of the moment.

“Ameliaranne brings a wealth of experience, composure, strong confidence on the shot and the ability to add value as a senior member of the Pulse. She continued her engagement with the Pulse throughout 2017 as a support coach and we’re looking forward to having her back on court.’’

The Pulse have now confirmed eight of their roster for 2018: Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Aliyah Dunn Sulu Fitzpatrick, Mila Reuelu-Buchanan, Katrina Grant, Tiana Metuarau, Whitney Souness, Karin Burger.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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