For the past three years, Otago goal keep Jess Moulds has
done her best to stop players scoring, only to slip through
the net herself.
The 20-year-old New Zealand under-21 captain is leaving
Dunedin and moving north to play for the Northern Mystics in
the ANZ Championship.
Moulds' decision to sign with the Auckland-based franchise
two weeks ago has largely been overlooked.
Her signature did not attract the flurry of headlines that
followed Anna Scarlett's decision to return from a three-year
break from the sport and join the Mystics.
The was no press release in the inbox and no mention of the
player on the Mystics' website.
But while the Mystics might not have announced her arrival
with all the typical fanfare, it is a fantastic opportunity
for the promising 1.88m defender.
"I don't think there was anything [in the newspapers] but I'm
not too fussed about that," she said.
"I haven't really told anyone or anything like that."
Moulds said the franchise approached her about her plans for
next year and everything fell into place from there.
"It is a great opportunity for me.
Even to be on the bench for a year is going to be such a good
Obviously, from there, I'll be looking to get more and more
court time and hopefully get into that starting line-up.
"And I'm from Northland so it will be quite cool to be close
to home again.
"It is quite sad [to leave Dunedin] but it's time - I've done
my three years."
Moulds has completed a bachelor of science degree at the
University of Otago and was planning to return to do a
Those plans may have to be put on hold.
Moulds will join a star-studded cast at the Mystics which
includes Silver Ferns Temepara George, Maria Tutaia, Joline
Henry, Grace Rasmussen and Scarlett.
But first there is one last hurrah with the Otago team.
The province opens its national championship campaign against
Wellington in Porirua on Saturday.
Moulds is looking forward to the challenge.
Otago finished fourth last year and third the previous two
It last won the title in 1998, the same year the Otago Rebels
won the franchise-based competition.
Otago had a wake-up call when it crashed to two heavy loses
against Canterbury in August, but Moulds believes the team
will be competitive.
"Canterbury are pretty much the Tactics and have been playing
together all season. We definitely put up a good fight and
we've built a lot since then."