Netball: Mainland Tactix load roster to chase maiden ANZ Premiership crown

After a season to forget last year, Mainland Tactix have their eyes firmly on a maiden ANZ Premiership title in 2023.

The side have pulled in some big recruits, with England international Laura Malcolm joining the midcourt and last season's top goalscorer Aliyah Dunn moving south from the Pulse.  

In 2022, the Tactix finished with the wooden spoon, but that means nothing this year. 

"We've just put that one behind us," said coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek. "We've started fresh."

They've bought in the recruits to do just that, with Malcolm adding star power and turning an eye towards this year's World Cup.

"You guys do have a different brand of netball over here and it is unusual to come up against that over in England," she said. "I'm looking forward to trying to get more familiar with that."

She brings championship pedigree, winning a English Superleague title with Manchester Thunder last year.

"I'm always hungry to get more," insisted Malcolm, but she's not the only one.

The Tactix have also recruited the competition's most prolific shooter in 2022. Dunn scored 618 goals to help Central Pulse to last year's title.

Aliyah Dunn in action for Central Pulse
Aliyah Dunn in action for Central Pulse. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I love winning," she said. "I love collecting gold medals, so that's definitly what I want to acheive this year."

Their newlook squad is off to a good start, going undefeated at last weekend's pre-season tournament in Otaki.

"We'd love to win a title and this year's looking really good," said Silver Ferns defender Jane Watson.

The Tactix are still yet to achieve that in their 15-year history.

Laura Malcolm in action for England against Uganda
Laura Malcolm in action for England against Uganda. Photo credit: Getty Images

"It's something that keeps us going," said Delaney-Hoshek. "It's a wee carrot that we can dangle in front of us and we really want to get."

They'll begin their persuit of that against Northern Stars, when the competition gets underway next weekend.