The Northern Mystics' formidable-looking defensive end has
taken another huge hit, with star defender Anna Harrison
withdrawing from the team this season after announcing her
Harrison informed her teammates yesterday that she is
expecting her first child and would miss the ANZ Championship
season, beginning in six weeks.
"There were a lot of mixed emotions telling the girls, I'm
definitely going to miss being part of the playing group, but
I'm also looking forward to contributing to their success in
other ways," Harrison said.
Given Harrison accepted the co-captaincy of the Mystics just
four weeks ago, caretaker coach Ruth Aitken admitted she was
caught off guard. But she said when it comes to coaching
women's sport she has learnt to deal with these challenges as
Harrison's withdrawal leaves a big hole in the Mystics
defensive stocks, with the Auckland side already losing
Charlotte Kight to an Achilles injury.
Australian import Julie Corletto will now be relied upon to
anchor the defensive end, with rookie Jess Moulds likely to
assume the starting goal keep role.
The dual losses will not only stretch the Mystics playing
resources, but also their finances with the franchise paying
two players they will get no court time out of. Payment for
any replacement players sits outside the salary cap, meaning
the Mystics will have to find the money for any replacement
Aitken said her first preference is to look to her extended
squad of Jessica Bourke (defence end), Lavinia Vaitohi and
Erikana Pederson (midcourt) to see if they are ready to step