The Northern Mystics have been "confronting a few realities" this week as they look to make 2011 the year they shake off their tag as perennial underachievers.

The full 2011 Mystics squad assembled for the first time this week, holding a two-day camp at Devonport Naval Base. New import Megan Dehn, who will not officially join the team until the end of January, flew over from Australia to take part in two days of intensive training sessions and team-building exercises.

Mystics coach Debbie Fuller, in her first season as head coach of the Auckland franchise, said the aim of the camp was to address the side's shortcomings from last season and plot the way forward.

Despite boasting one of the most powerful line-ups in the competition, the Mystics finished only sixth, with a poor 7-6 win-loss record.

That followed on from woeful 2008 and 2009 seasons and Fuller is determined to address why the Mystics have consistently under-delivered at transtasman level.

"We just really needed to confront a few realities as we look ahead to next season," she said. "There are gaps in our game from last year and we need, really need, to assess where we can improve on with those gaps."

"We can't dine out on talent alone."

The Mystics will train as a squad up until December 21, when they will break for two weeks for Christmas. But with the Silver Ferns leaving for a three-test tour of the UK on January 9, Fuller will not have her full squad together again until February.

Eager to make up for lost time is defender Rachel Rasmussen, who is back in the line-up after being dumped from the Auckland side last season.

Sitting on the sidelines did not sit well with the 26-year-old.

"At first it was really hard, I don't think I watched any of the games from the first few rounds, but when you've got friends and a sister out there, you can't help but take note of what's going on."

While she missed out on the Mystics squad, Rasmussen did get a small taste of ANZ Championship action last season, filling in as injury cover for the Central Pulse.

She impressed in her few outings with Wellington, and, after a strong NPC season with Auckland Waitakere, was selected to play for the Fastnet Ferns at last month's world series.

The New Zealand side were surprise winners of that tournament, and the experience has left Rasmussen determined to make the step up to international level.

"Missing out last year has definitely brought back a passion and fire. And then being involved in the Fastnet just recently has only made me want it more. You can't play in this league and not have higher aspirations and Silver Ferns is definitely the goal."

Rasmussen, whose younger sister Grace made her test debut this year and was part of the Silver Ferns' gold-medal winning side in Delhi, has already made the first step in pushing for national honours.

She and fellow Mystics defender Jess Moulds were yesterday included in Netball New Zealand's accelerant squad, alongside the Southern Steel's Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit and Hayley Saunders.