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Kopua staying on with Magic next year

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/06/2017
Casey Kopua. © Getty Casey Kopua.

Former Silver Fern captain Casey Kopua has confirmed she will play another season of Premiership Netball.

The Waikato Bay of Plenty skipper retired from the international game in March and hadn't ruled out calling it quits on the professional game all together.

However, after another strong season with the Magic the accomplished defender has decided to have another crack despite missing out on the playoffs for the first time in her 15 year professional career.

They defeated the Northern Stars 58-45 in their final round robin game in Tauranga on Wednesday but needed to win by more to advance to the finals, leaving Kopua gutted.

"You feel great that you have won and got so close but deflated that you didn't quite do it. We had our opportunities but I'm still proud of the team," she said.

"It's a bit of an emotional roller coaster sport and for us we have had a lot of new girls come into the competition and if the main group can stay together I think next year we should be unstoppable," she said.

"I'm looking forward to coming back as I'm still having a lot of fun on the court."

Kopua, 32, proved again what a resilient competitor she is after tearing her calf muscle against the Steel in the previous round.

She decided to play with a heavily bandaged leg against the Stars to give her team a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.

"It was a case of managing and playing through it as there would have been no finals if we didn't win this game so it was a case of mind over matter."

She also admits she missed the challenge of playing the Australian sides in this year's competition, with the trans-Tasman league having split.

"It's different as the netball was a bit inconsistent with the performances but it was quite nice to keep Kiwi at the same time," she said.

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