Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic
|Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic|
|ANZ Championship team|
|Based in||Hamilton, New Zealand|
Bay of Plenty Region
|Main venue||Mystery Creek Events Centre|
|Main sponsor||First Windows & Doors|
|Head coach||Noeline Taurua|
|Asst coach||Margaret Foster|
|Best finish||Champions (2012)|
|2011 finish||Preliminary finalists (3rd)|
The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic are a New Zealand netball team based in Hamilton that currently compete in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The franchise was formed in 1999 during the Coca-Cola Cup (later the National Bank Cup) as an amalgamation of two teams from the inaugural season, the Waikato Wildcats and the Bay of Plenty Magic. After the National Bank Cup was retired in 2007, the Magic joined four other New Zealand franchises in the new ANZ Championship, representing the New Zealand regions of the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.
Home games in the ANZ Championship are usually played at Mystery Creek Events Centre in Hamilton, although some matches are played at the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua and the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre in Tauranga. The team uniform is primarily black with yellow and orange stripes, in line with traditional Waikato Rugby Union colours. Their alternate uniform has the black and yellow colours swapped around and is only used when playing the West Coast Fever in Australia, due to both their uniforms are primarily black. In 2011, the team uniform has their orange stripe replaced with a blue stripe. The Magic are currently coached by Noeline Taurua, who was first appointed in 2003 during the National Bank Cup, after spending two years as an assistant coach. In 2011 the team were captained by veteran midcourter Laura Langman.
Since 2003, the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic have finished no lower than third, winning National Bank Cup titles in 2005 and 2006. During the ANZ Championship, their playing roster has consistently included a large number of international players, which has been both a point of controversy and has been attributed with bringing about their initial success in the competition. The Magic won the 2012 ANZ Championship becoming the first New Zealand team to win the competition.
Formation and early years
In 1998, a new netball competition was launched in New Zealand. This competition was a revamp of the previous Coca-Cola Cup and featured franchises for the first time, with the overall aim of increasing the public profile of the sport in New Zealand. The inaugural competition was contested between ten teams, including the Waikato Wildcats and the Bay of Plenty Magic. At the end of the first season both teams finished at the bottom of the ladder, with the Wildcats 9th and the Bay of Plenty Magic last. Both teams decided to merge for the 1999 season: a new franchise was developed adopting the team name from Bay of Plenty and the colours of Waikato, becoming the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic.
Bay of Plenty Magic coach Lyn Gunson was appointed head coach for the new franchise's first season. However, the 1999 season saw the new Magic team again finish last. Alison Wieringa and Tracey Fear became co-coaches in 2000, and the team improved its standing in the competition, finishing 7th. Ruth Aitken became head coach from 2001–02, with Noeline Taurua as assistant coach. During this time the team reached 3rd in 2001 before dropping to 7th in 2002. With Aitken coaching the Silver Ferns, Noeline Taurua assumed the head coaching position of the Magic during 2002, the same year that the competition became known as the National Bank Cup (NBC). The Magic returned to the top four the following year, finishing 3rd; 2003 also saw the arrival of high-profile South African players Irene van Dyk and Leana du Plooy to the Magic. The team consolidated their strong finish with another 3rd placing in 2004, under new head coach Nicole Dryden, playing in their first home semi-final.
National Bank Cup champions
Noeline Taurua returned as head coach for the Magic in 2005, and has remained in the position since. That year, they achieved a clean sweep of the pool stages and won their first semi-final at home. Despite having earned a home final, no suitable venue could be booked within the franchise region, and so the grand final for that year was played in Invercargill at the home venue of the challenging team, the Southern Sting. Nevertheless, the Magic won their first National Bank Cup in 2005 with a comprehensive 65–39 victory over the Sting in the grand final. This Cup-winning team produced six Silver Ferns for that year. The 2006 season presented a tougher path to the semi-finals, with the Magic getting through on countback. They progressed to the grand final, which was played at the Mystery Creek Events Centre in Hamilton on 30 June. Once again, the Magic emerged as champions with a 67–43 victory over the Sting.
The final season of the National Bank Cup was played in 2007. Prior to the start of the season, Netball New Zealand and Netball Australia jointly announced that both the National Bank Cup and Australia's Commonwealth Bank Trophy would be replaced by a new trans-Tasman competition. In the 2007 National Bank Cup, the Magic progressed to the playoff stages, defeating the Auckland Diamonds in their minor semi-final in Rotorua. The Magic travelled to Invercargill to contest the preliminary final against the Sting. The Southland-based franchise emerged victorious over the Magic by 48–46 in a close contest: this was the final NBC match played by the franchise.
ANZ Championship era
Inaugural 2008 season
The Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic were one of five New Zealand franchises named for the new trans-Tasman netball competition – eventually named the ANZ Championship – to start in 2008. Martin Ellis was appointed as the new CEO for the Magic franchise. But several organisational problems also emerged prior to the start of the new season: a row erupted over the composition of the board early in the month, and stalled negotiations between Netball New Zealand and the New Zealand Netball Players Association delayed player signings until 22 December. Nevertheless, the Magic team signed for the 2008 season contained six Silver Ferns, forming one of the strongest line-ups in the competition; Silver Ferns goal attack Maria Tutaia also joined the team after transferring from the Auckland Diamonds. Noeline Taurua was retained as head coach, and the team were captained by former Silver Fern Amigene Metcalfe.
During the initial round-robin stage of the 2008 season, the Magic had a win-loss record of 10–3 to emerge as minor premiers. The Magic were the only New Zealand team to qualify for the semi-finals: the other New Zealand franchises occupied four of the bottom five placings. In Hamilton, the Magic suffered a home loss to the Swifts in the major semi-final, before winning the preliminary final against Adelaide. The grand final of the 2008 season was contested at Sydney's Acer Arena. The New South Wales Swifts defeated the Magic by 65–56 to win the inaugural ANZ Championship, with the Magic as runners-up.
Prior to the start of the 2009 season, Metcalfe retired from netball to spend more time with her family. Silver Ferns defender Leana de Bruin (née du Plooy) returned to the Magic after a season with the Northern Mystics, while Samoan representative Frances Solia transferred from the winless Central Pulse. The all-international-level starting lineup drew concerns regarding the uneven distribution of top players among New Zealand franchises and allegations of salary cap breaches. Although leading the competition for a significant part of the 2009 season, the Magic finished the round-robin stage in second place with an 11–2 win-loss record. The last few weeks of their season saw the Magic lose their final three matches by substantial margins, eventually being eliminated in the preliminary final by the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Several Magic players transferred to other franchises for the 2010 season, including Silver Ferns stalwarts Maria Tutaia and Joline Henry. Among the 2010 gains for the side were Jodi Brown and Australian representative Peta Scholz; English international Jade Clarke later joined the team as a Temporary Replacement Player for an injured Scholz. In 2010, the Magic finished third at the conclusion of the round-robin matches, but defeated the Southern Steel and minor premiers New South Wales Swifts to qualify for their second grand final in three years. Nevertheless, the Magic had to settle for runners-up once again, being defeated by the Adelaide Thunderbirds 52–42 in the grand final. In 2011 Scholz returned to the Magic, but did not regain Jodi Brown. Replacing Brown in the shooting circle were developing shooters Julianna Naoupu and Jamilah Gupwell. Former Silver Fern Margaret Foster also joined the Magic as the assistant coach. The Magic again qualified for the finals series, but lost to the Northern Mystics in the preliminary final, finishing their 2011 season in third place.
2012 saw a few changes to the squad. Silver Fern defender Leana De Bruin was signed to replace the pregnant Jodi Tod, and with the retirement of import Peta Scholz, the relatively unknown Khao Watts was signed on as the team's import. Early in the season the Magic were last in the competition after four rounds. They then went on to win their next 12 games straight to win the Championship, becoming the first New Zealand based team to win the competition. In the minor semi-final they defeated the Adelaide Thunderbirds by one goal, and had another close finish in the preliminary final when they beat the Northern Mystics in extra time. They went on to meet the Melbourne Vixens in Melbourne for the grand final. The Magic had never beaten the Vixens on their home court, and a team in third place at the end of the regular season had never won the Championship. The Magic defied the odds beating the Vixens 41-38 to win their first ANZ Championship title.
2013 will see only one major change to the squad with the loss of shooter Juliana Naoupu, who has returned home to play for the Canterbury Tactix. Tactix shooter Ellen Halpenny has been signed on to replace her. The team has also signed Jodi Tod after a years absence, to cover the loss of young defender Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick. Several young players have been signed on with development contracts.
2011 Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic roster
Manager: Belinda Muller
|Player profiles: Team website • ANZC website||Last updated: 8 Feb 2013|
The franchise is administered by Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic Franchise Ltd, formed in 1999 when the Waikato Wildcats and Bay of Plenty Magic merged. The franchise catchment area covers the two netballing regions of Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, and both Netball Waikato and Netball Bay of Plenty have two directors on the club's eight-member board. The regional netball bodies also report to Netball New Zealand, while the franchise reports to Trans Tasman Netball Ltd (TTNL), which oversees the ANZ Championship. Sheryl Dawson is the current board CEO, with Peter De Luca as board chairperson.
With the start of the ANZ Championship, netball emerged as a semi-professional sport in New Zealand. Playing conditions are negotiated by the New Zealand Players Association and Netball New Zealand. The current agreement, enacted in 2008, restricts franchises to a NZ$300,000 salary cap, with a minimum $12,000 retainer for each player. In 2009, Queensland Firebirds head coach Vicki Wilson publicly speculated that the Magic, who had six Silver Ferns in their playing roster, were not complying with the $300,000 salary cap, a claim that the Magic denied. TTNL General Manager Anthony Everard noted that the salary cap used by TTNL allows franchises to provide reasonable assistance for player costs in addition to their retainers, covering transport, accommodation, cars, mobile phones and laptop computers, and that no upper limit is set for such assistance.
The Magic play most of their home games at Mystery Creek Events Centre in Hamilton, which has a capacity of 5000 for netball matches. The Energy Events Centre in Rotorua is used as an alternate venue, with a capacity of 3000 for sporting events. Two homes games in the 2009 season were also played at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre in Tauranga, due to the unavailability of both abovementioned venues; the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre can accommodate 1500 spectators for netball matches. This venue will be used again in 2011, along with the Taupo Events Centre.
During their history, the Magic have played two finals series games outside of their franchise region, in both instances when suitable venues in the franchise region were unavailable: the 2005 NBC grand final, which was played at Stadium Southland, the home venue of the opposing team; and the 2010 ANZ Championship minor semi-final, which was played at Vector Arena in nearby Auckland.
From 2012, the Magic will shift home games played in Hamilton from Mystery Creek to the new Claudelands Events Centre. Located in the city centre, the new stadium will have a seating capacity of 4000. The QEYC will also be replaced from 2012, with the new Baypark sports and exhibition centre likely to host Magic games in Tauranga. The new, $40 million Baypark venue will have a seating capacity of 3500, making it the first Tauranga venue to meet the 3000-seat minimum requirement for ANZ Championship stadia.
- Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic: History. Retrieved on 2009-06-14.
- Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic: Coaches. Retrieved on 2009-06-14.
- Ash, Julie (2002-02-01). "Last chance to seize the day". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-06-13.
- "New Magic coach ready for National Bank Cup". Rotorua Daily Post (published on The New Zealand Herald website). 2004-04-15. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- Ash, Julie (2005-06-02). "Magic lose their home advantage as stadium is rejected". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- Granville, Alan (2005-06-10). "Magic stun Sting for NBC crown". ONE Sport. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- "Magic romp to famous win". ONE Sport. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- ONE Sport, Newstalk ZB (2007-06-10). "Magic end Diamonds title hopes". TVNZ. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- ONE Sport (2007-06-15). "Sting down Magic in thriller". TVNZ. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- NZPA (2007-05-09). "Nod to all five Tasman Trophy bids". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- NZCity, Newstalk ZB (2007-10-28). "Magic names CEO". Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- Newstalk ZB (2007-12-05). "War of words in Waikato". TVNZ. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- "Netball Agreement Finalised For ANZ Championship" (Press release). Netball New Zealand. 2007-12-22. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
- "Magic chief confident as team named". Waikato Times. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- Geenty, Mark (2008-07-28). "Magic tumble to Swifts in ANZ Championship final". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- Netball Waikato Newsletter: Nov/Dec 2008. Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
- Johannsen, Dana (2008-04-03). "Sparking a Magic spell". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- Miles, Penny (2009-04-18). "Sweeteners lift netball's salary lid". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- "Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic win grand final". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Netball: At last! Magic claim win for NZ". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Team profile at Netball New Zealand. Retrieved on 2007-12-23.
- Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic: Franchise board. Retrieved on 2009-06-14.
- Richens, Matt (2010-02-11). "New netball chief unifies Magic regions". Waikato Times. Retrieved 2010-02-12.
- "ANZ Championship: Contact Us". Trans Tasman Netball Limited. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- Mystery Creek Events Centre: Mystery Creek Pavilion. Retrieved on 2009-06-13.
- Events & Venues Rotorua: Sport. Retrieved on 2009-06-13.
- Richens, Matt (2009-06-09). "A Magic leap to top spot". Waikato Times. Retrieved 2009-06-13.
- Exelby, Kelly (2010-11-18). "Magic heading for Tauranga in stadium's finale". The Daily Post. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
|National Bank Cup Champions