The Northern Mystics will field an all-international midcourt next year after signing English midcourter Serena Guthrie.
The athletic 24-year-old, who plays wing defence and centre, joins the midcourt pairing of Silver Fern Laura Langman and new signing Millie Lees who has 11 test caps.
Guthrie has been playing for Team Bath, the most successful franchise in the English Superleague, since she was 16. The team, based at the University of Bath, has won five of nine campaigns.
Guthrie has been on the Mystics' radar since catching the eye of coach Debbie Fuller two years ago. During a holiday in New Zealand the Jersey-born netballer was invited to train with the team and made an impression.
"Since then I have been following her progress," says Fuller who describes her as a dynamic attacking player who also sustains defensive pressure throughout a game.
The Mystics were also figuring in Guthrie's thinking:
"There seemed to be a good ethos and atmosphere between the girls when I came and played a few training games against them in 2012. I thought at the time that this was a team I'd like to play for," she says. "I think the Mystics play good creative netball and try to embrace each individual's talents and put that out on court."
Guthrie, who is preparing for the Commonwealth Games with the England team, is excited about her first foray into the ANZ Championship. She said the transtasman competition is the most competitive league in the world and is looking forward to the challenge of having to back up week after week.
"After seeing some of my England team-mates playing in it, it's definitely something I've wanted to be a part of for a while now. They say it's like playing internationals every week - constantly being under pressure - which sounds amazing. They say there's no league like it."
As for transplanting herself halfway around the world: "Auckland is one of my favourite places. I love New Zealand in general, but I really enjoyed Auckland so I can't wait to move."
Guthrie fills the Mystics' import spot left open by Australian Diamond Julie Corletto. The tenacious and respected defender returned home with her husband Darryl who secured a basketball contract in Melbourne.