The Waikato-BOP Magic head to Auckland tonight for their ANZ Premiership encounter against the Northern Stars with a fresh recruit on board.
Lisa Mather will join the squad for the remainder of this year’s campaign, filling the gap left by the season-ending injury to attacker Sydney Fraser.
The Northlander, a Hilary Scholar at Waikato University, has been training with the team all season, and now steps up to a full place in the squad.
Head coach Margaret Forsyth says it’s a good opportunity for Mather who’s shown plenty of determination and willingness to learn since joining the team’s wider group.
“Lisa has certainly stepped up to take this opportunity to move from a Magic training partner to a fully contracted player.
“She has the heart, courage and open mindedness that we expect of our Magic players. It’s an exciting time for our team and for Lisa.”
It will be a steep learning curve for Mather who joins a team struggling to live up to former glories. They sit fourth on the competition table, though with two games in hand over the teams above them.
Despite their patchy record this season however they should have too much for the Stars. Auckland’s second team, created when the competition came back on-shore after the demise of the trans-Tasman league two years ago, have struggled to make their mark, and possess just one win to their name in nine matches.
The Magic took the match 64-61 over the Stars when they met three weeks ago at Tauranga’s ASB Arena so will be keen to maintain their ascendency, and push on for the top three playoff places.
Their confidence should be sky high too after last week’s 15 goal demolition of the Mystics in Hamilton.
The match at Auckland’s Pullman Arena tonight will be screened live on Sky Sport 1 at 7:30.