There was added excitement when the Robinhood Northern Stars netball team regrouped again recently as Julianna Naoupu announced that she is expecting her first baby in December. She will therefore be unable to participate in the 2020 ANZ Premiership.
Northern Stars Coach Kiri Wills, commented “We are thrilled for Julianna and Ben and the Stars Whanau will pull together to ensure Julianna is well supported on her journey. We were looking forward to Julianna getting out there, the way she thinks about the game and moves in the shooting circle fit extremely well with the players she had around her and so we are gutted that we won’t see that play out.”
Julianna had been looking forward to reigniting her ANZ career in 2020 and had settled in to the Robinhood Northern Stars as if she had been with the team forever. She since has relocated back to Christchurch to be with her partner and family.
The franchise has built a strong base within the Comets Core and Northern Stars General Manager, Dianne Lasenby is excited to announce Vika Koloto will be brought into the team as Julianna’s
replacement. Koloto has been training with the Stars since the return from lockdown and travelled with the team last December’s Super Club league held in Nelson.
Wills was impressed how the young player, who was in her final year of school last year, has stepped up into this level of competition. “In Nelson she was fearless on court, taking on players of the calibre of Geva Mentor as if she had been doing it for years. Power and strength are her two greatest assets and her shot is accurate too, so she has the goods to take her career to the next level.”
DOB: 8 May 2002
Positions:GA, GS, WA