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Magic add Aussie Scholz to roster

Published: 5:44PM Wednesday October 28, 2009 Source: NZPA

  •  Liana Barrett-Chase retrieves the ball under pressure from Peta Scholz. (Source: Photosport)
     Liana Barrett-Chase retrieves the ball under pressure from Peta Scholz. - Source: Photosport

Former Australian international Peta Scholz will return to top level netball with Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in next year's ANZ Championship.

Strong performances for a composite World 7 team, which won two of three tests against the Silver Ferns in August, was enough to convince the dynamic wing defence she could still foot it with the best.

"Playing in the World 7 I realised that I really missed playing at that level," she said.

"I had a great time, thoroughly enjoyed it and thought perhaps I still have something to give and could still play at that level.

"I didn't really put my name out or anything. I had a chat with (Adelaide) Thunderbirds and we couldn't come to an arrangement and then out of the blue I got a call from the Magic and it all went from there."

Scholz is one in a long line of quality wing defences to come off the Australian production line, and amassed 54 caps from 1999-2004.

A regular for the original Thunderbirds, the 33-year-old played all 11 years of the Commonwealth Bank Trophy competition before the ANZ Championship took over in 2008, when she retired.

"I thought I'd lost the passion a little bit," she said.

"I still loved playing netball but all the training, the travel, two young daughters, a husband playing sport, all took its toll a bit."

Never gone far

Scholz has never gone far from the game, playing state league for Oakdale Club in the Adelaide competition for the past two years.

Her team won the premiership this year for the first time, which further fuelled her competitive instincts.

"All that inspired me a bit and I just thought what an opportunity -- to go to New Zealand and play with some of the best players and hopefully win a championship."

Scholz will relocate to Mt Maunganui with husband David and children Matilda and Poppy in late January.

Experience is key

Her experience and the ability to mentor younger players will be key assets for the Magic. She got used to a winning culture in her years with the Thunderbirds after the team won two premierships and contested a number of grand finals, and hopes to bring that mentality with her to the Magic.

"I'm a hard worker, I train hard and don't settle for second best," she said.

A different lifestyle, a family-friendly environment, spending six months doing what she loves and her husband keen to reduce his golf handicap were the appealing factors for a move across the Tasman.

"In Australia you often play until you want to have children and then you have children and that's it," Scholz said.

"Players tend to retire at that point and don't come back. In New Zealand, it's totally different and seems a lot more family friendly and people almost have an expectation that you will return (to play) rather than you won't, which is just wonderful."

Shooter Tanya Lund and defender Kahurangi Waititi have also been added to the Magic squad, which has only one spot free before the playing roster is full.

Magic squad (one to be added): Jodi Brown, Laura Langman, Tanya Lund, Peta Scholz, Elias Shadrock, Frances Solia, Jodi Tod, Jess Tuki, Irene van Dyk, Kahurangi Waititi, Casey Williams.

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