Northern Mystics midcourter Samon Nathan is looking forward to playing in front of friends and family when they take on the Central Pulse at the North Shore Events Centre on Wednesday night. During her time on the North Shore, Nathan also played under current Mystics coach Helene Wilson.
They say that you can take the girl out of the Shore, but you can't take the Shore out of the girl.
Nathan (Ngāti Whātua) remembers, “The first time I played premier netball was at the North Shore Events Centre because the AMI stadium wasn't built at the Netball North Harbour courts.”
“The North Shore Events Centre's where we've played all our premier netball, and I've coached a lot there, so it's like going home to the old days,” says Wilson.
The return north is also a big occasion for Wilson who remembers Nathan as a strong and physical 14-year-old player back at Westlake Girls High School.
Wilson says, “I think it's the Ngāti Whātua coming out in her. In terms of how she's grown, she's just a lifelong learner. So for me, it's really exciting watching her grow and get better.”
The 24-year-old is determined to get a win over the side she turned out for last year. The Mystics are currently zero wins from two games against the capital-based side.
"Yeah well they're two earlier losses, but we're down to the business end, so we really need to come away with the win this time," says Nathan.
The Mystics are aware of the threat from former teammate Catherine Tuivaiti who moved to Wellington at the beginning of the year. For Nathan, her team needs to bring to the court what they have put in at training.
Nathan says, “Personally, I'm trying to start strong. I've had a few good games coming off the bench but it's really bringing the intensity right from the first whistle."
It's been eight years since the North Shore Events Centre hosted a match. On that day in April, it was the Mystics who won. They will be hoping history repeats itself.