Former Silver Ferns shooter Jessica Tuki has played her
last game for Otago.
The 20-year-old goal attack has signed with Waikato-Bay of
Plenty Magic for the 2009 ANZ Championship and will move to
"I was very, very stoked when Noeline [Taurua, Magic coach]
rang me and was interested," Tuki said.
"I just think it is going to add more to my game, training
and hopefully playing with Irene [van Dyk] and Maria
Tuki, a bench player for the Southern Steel last season,
shifted to Dunedin three years ago from New Plymouth to
attend the University of Otago and play netball for the
While she is excited about playing for a team which shapes as
one of the title favourites, there is some sadness leaving
"I'll miss a lot of people. I've got some great mentors down
there like Georgie [Salter]. She has been amazing for my
confidence building and development over the last couple of
years and just all the girls down there."
Her Otago career finished on a high note, with her side
beating North 56-53 in the third-fourth play-off in Rotorua
"It's bloody great to finish on a win."
Tuki had a good campaign for Otago.
While her shooting still runs hot and cold, her passing and
work-rate have improved out of sight and, along with Phillipa
Finch and Hannah Broederlow, she was one of Otago's most
Tuki has vision on the court which separates her from the
ordinary and marks her out as a player with the X-factor
coaches love to talk about.
It was that vision which prompted the national selectors to
pick her to replace an injured Jodi Brown in the Silver Ferns
squad that won the gold medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth
Games in 2006.
She played for the Otago Rebels the same year but was dropped
for the following season due to bad form.
The then teenager lost confidence and her shooting
percentages fell away to the point where there was talk of
using her in the midcourt.
"I think it [a shift to midcourt] is still a possibility but
I still see myself has an attacking player. I enjoy the
pressure of shooting."
Otago players Hannah Broederlow, Camilla Lees and Jess Moulds
and Otago Under-21 player Claire Kersten have been named in a
17-strong New Zealand Under-21 squad to contest the 2009
World Youth Cup in the Cook Islands.
Lees, who has signed with the Canterbury Tactix, was also
named in the national championship tournament team along with
Otago team-mate, Debbie White.