Kia Magic will retain its potent defensive presence in the 2014 ANZ Championship netball competition after securing the prized signature of Casey Kopua today.
Resisting offers to move elsewhere, the Silver Ferns captain has cemented her loyalty to her home region, Kopua’s re-signing making her the only foundation player still retaining links with the the Waikato/Bay of Plenty team.
It will mark Kopua’s seventh season with Magic since the inception of the trans-Tasman competition and her 12th season with the same team overall.
``The opportunity to play for and represent my home team Kia Magic is a real honour and one that excites me,’’ Kopua said.
``I’m looking forward to the new season with them. There will be a new look to Magic in 2014 and it will be exciting to work and play alongside the new personnel.’’
With her exceptional aerial skills and athletic ability, Kopua, 28, will once again form a powerful defensive unit with fellow Silver Fern Leana de Bruin, who also recently re-signed with Magic.
The pair played decisive roles in Magic’s 2012 Grand Final win, both players have won the league’s individual Most Valuable Player award while Kopua was also named in this year’s All Stars team.
Incoming coach Julie Fitzgerald was delighted the classy defender had recommitted to Magic.
``Casey personifies the heart and power that is Magic and I am very excited that she is returning for another season,’’ the coach said.
``Without doubt one of the world's best defenders, Casey has formed a formidable combination with Leana de Bruin which I believe will continue to develop as they combine with their team-mates to form a defensive unit that the opposition will find threatening.
``Casey also makes an invaluable contribution to the team off court and embraces the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region with pride. As the Silver Ferns captain, she presents a role model for all young players and the Magic franchise looks forward to her thrilling the fans with her on-court performances in season 2014.’’
Kopua and de Bruin join England shooting import Jo Harten and up-and-coming duo Brooke Leaver and Samantha Sinclair on the Magic’s roster for 2014.