Wilkins, Leota sign for Central Pulse

NZ Newswire November 7, 2012, 6:39 pm

Central Pulse coach Robyn Broughton has lured back two key players from her Southern Steel days to sign for the Wellington-based franchise in next year's trans-Tasman netball league.

Former Silver Ferns Donna Wilkins and Liana Leota were both mainstays of Broughton's time at the Steel in the four years she coached the Invercargill franchise.

Wilkins, 34, shot at 90.2 per cent for the Steel this year in forming an impressive combination with Silver Ferns goal attack Jodi Brown.

Leota, named MVP in the 2010 trans-Tasman league, has spent a year in the United Kingdom where her husband Johnny plays rugby for the Sale Sharks.

The Pulse have also re-signed Silver Ferns defender Katrina Grant, who will again captain the team, and vice-captain Joline Henry, who has committed to return to the Pulse following the birth of her baby early next year.

Amongst those returning are midcourter Millie Lees, who had a stand-out series with the Silver Ferns, and Caitlin Thwaites, who made her debut for the Australian Diamonds in the recent quad series.

Te Huinga Selby Rickit, Paula Griffin, Victoria Smith, Daya Wiffen and Amber Bellringer have also signed on with the Pulse for another year, joined by a new face in former New Zealand under-21 player Claire Kersten.

Broughton says the squad promise much for next year's competition.

"They are players with outstanding skills and the challenge will be to develop their individual skills for the benefit of the team," she said.

Central Pulse: Katrina Grant (captain), Joline Henry, Amber Bellringer, Paula Griffin, Claire Kersten, Camilla Lees, Liana Leota, Te Huinga Selby Rickit, Victoria Smith, Caitlin Thwaites, Daya Wiffen, Donna Wilkins.