15-year-old Tiana Metuarau will join the Central Pulse (CP) line up as the youngest player in next year’s ANZ Premiership.
Metuarau will replace CP shooter, Ameliaranne Ekenasio who withdraws due to pregnancy.
She’s the youngest professional netballer to sign with a domestic team in NZ history. Despite her tender years, the Wellington East Girls College student has proven to be a standout player over the years gaining entry into the national secondary school netball competitions, the NZ U21 team that took out World Youth Cup last year, and the Silver Ferns Development Squad.
Pulse Coach, Yvette McCausland-Durie, who also coached Metuarau in the Beko League says she has all the confidence in Metuarau as she takes up the bib in the elite ranks.
“I always have a lot of confidence in young players and I think what I’ve witnessed of Tiana is a real professionalism. She’s absolutely dedicated and committed to being the best netballer she can be and we see her consistently train so she’s got a really good conditioning base,” McCausland –Durie says.
“As a player, she has the ability to get good shooting volume. She is accurate across the range of areas within the circle, also one of the real special assets she has is her rebounding ability. So whether she’s shooting or not shooting we know she has the ability to get the ball.”
Descended from netball pedigree, whakapapa seems to play a big role in her talent as the youngest daughter of former Silver Ferns coach, Waimarama Taumaunu. Metuarau’s dream of following in her mum’s footsteps to become a Silver Fern is no secret, as a younger Metuarau once declared her aspirations to become a Silver Fern by the age of 18. A goal she feels is definitely looking more like a reality now. However for this quickly rising star, shooting for the stars is still a little nerve racking.
“I think just because this opportunity’s come up so soon it’s kind of getting a bit scary that I could be on the team when I’m not even Year 13, but I guess we’ll just see how it all goes.”
The ANZ Premiership will commence next year in March.