2021 ANZ Premiership: Season review – Northern Mystics

NOW that the ANZ Premiership season is done and dusted Draft Central casts an eye over each team and how they fared throughout their 2021 campaign. The final team under the microscope is the 2021 premiers Northern Mystics who dazzled towards the backend of the season.

Season overview:

It was a history making season for the Northern Mystics securing their first ever premiership and doing so in style with a narrow two-goal win in the grand final, downing Mainland Tactix. The Northern Mystics recruited a couple of fresh faces for season 2021 and they did not disappoint, rallying together to secure the silverware. They finished with 11 wins to their name and while there were one or two bumps along the way the Mystics hardly looked fazed with their bench depth front and centre.


“We have a new team vision called Mystics mana and it underpins everything that we do. The English translation of mana is to have strength and to be strong and to have pride,” Nweke explained. “We have an acronym for mana and it underpins all of our actions on and off the court and it’s the way we want to play and the way we want to be seen.”

“Obviously the ultimate goal for every team in the competition is to come out on top and so obviously that’s what we are working towards.”

Chatting to Draft Central prior to the season, young goaler Grace Nweke made it abundantly clear that the main aim was to walk away with the trophy in hand. Donning a new mantra and perception on the game that is exactly what the Mystics did.

Shining light:

At only 19-years-old, Nweke further elevated her game this season with her composure under the post and smarts to withstand the physical pressure week in, week out. She grew with confidence as the season went on, using her strength and smarts to inch closer to the post. A lynchpin for the side, Nweke was a constant threat under the post with her ability to read the play and position accordingly. Pair that with her accuracy and proficiency to post and it is hard to go past the services of the goal shooter under the post.

Team breakdown:

There was no shortage of players able to take the court for the Mystics and have a profound impact. Inside attack the Mystics were brimming with talent with Nweke holding down the fort and Bailey Mes and Filda Vui able to effectively ply their trade out the front in goal attack. Throw in the services of Saviour Tui and the Mystics were spoilt for choice. It was the same story in defence with the Mystics possessing a number of game changers. Headlined by captain Sulu Fitzpatrick the acquisition of Kate Burley was exactly what the club needed with the pair combining to be a menace down back with their tenacity. The calibre of talent down back did not stop there with England international Ama Agbeze also amongst the mix while Phoenix Karaka made her return toward the latter stage of the year after giving birth.

The midcourt is where the magic happened with Peta Toeava proving to be the spark needed. Her class, speed, vision and connection with Nweke often set tongues wagging and teams were forced onto he backfoot. Youngster Tayla Earle also had a season to remember linking up between defence and attack and was a key reason for the Mystics’ get up and go mentality.

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