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Netball veteran ready to prove her worth

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 14/06/2018

The Southerner is relishing being back on court. © AAP Image/David Mariuz The Southerner is relishing being back on court. The Northern Stars stunned onlookers as former Mainland Tactix captain Anna Thompson ran on court wearing purple in front of a home crowd in the ANZ Premiership's Super Sunday.

The Mainland Tactix didn't want Anna Thompson - but the Northern Stars will take her.

Thompson was not only a foundation member of the Canterbury-based since 2008, as captain and was told the club no longer required her services at the end of the 2017 season.

With her passion for the sport still strong, the former Silver Fern midcourter has continued playing club netball with efforts resulting in a chance within the Northern Stars to make her mark on domestic stage once more.

While it's not yet known if she can commit full-time due to being based in Christchurch, the Southerner is relishing being back on court.

"Long story short they (Tactix) were moving in a different direction and I wasn't part of that plan." says Thompson

"but my passion for the game was still there and now it's a good chance to get a dress back on and play the game I really love."

Injuries continue to plague the Stars with Kayla Cullen ruled out for the season after knee surgery and England captain Ama Agbeze out with an ankle injury.

Former New Zealand Secondary School captain Holly Fowler has filled the void in centre, but has had to move back into defence with Agbeze out leaving room for Thompson.

In her second game for the Stars, the 31-year-old celebrated 150 domestic league games nurturing a strong connection with shooter Maia Wilson with her services warmly welcomed by coach Kiri Wills.

"Our niggles have hurt us, I wonder how much of a difference Kayla Cullen would have made and where we would be in terms of being higher on the leader board." says Wills

"but just that little bit more experience in the midcourt is critical and we were very impressed with the job that she (Thompson) did last night."

If selected Thompson will face her former side the Tactix on Sunday afternoon in Auckland and will pair up with her replacement Kimiora Poi in opposing centre positions.

"The Tactix were such a massive part of my life, I loved and had so much pride wearing the red and black." says Thompson.

"but if you break it all down and strip all that back it's a game of netball that you get to play and I have found that out at the Stars and I am grateful for the chance."

The Northern Stars will host the Mainland Tactix at Pulman Arena in Auckland on Sunday.

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