Jo Harten and Green named joint netball MVPs
Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic shooter Jo Harten has been recognised for a superb trans-Tasman league campaign by being named a joint winner of the competition's Most Valuable Player award.
For the fourth time in the league's history, the award has been split, with Harten and NSW Swifts centre Kimberlee Green finishing the regular season level on 19 votes, which are recorded on a one, two, three points system from each match.
Green captained the Swifts to their first finals appearance since 2011 with her tireless work rate in attack and defence, while Harten follows a long line of imports to claim the player of the year honour, with Jhaniele Fowler-Reid (2013), Romelda Aiken (2008, 2009) and Sonia Mkoloma (2008) having done so previously.
The 25-year-old Englishwoman played two years at the Mainland Tactix before moving to the Magic this year, forming a formidable combination with Ellen Halpenny, and showcasing her unflappable temperament.
She is one of four players to finish the season with more than 500 goals, averaging 33.3 per game at 88 per cent accuracy, along with being in the top 10 for offensive rebounds.
''I moved to Magic at the start of the season so I could try and make finals and try and take a step up in my career,'' Harten said.
''I think I've done that this year. I've tried to be more consistent and more accurate in my shooting and performance and that's really credit to this team and how they've allowed me to improve and learn.''
Harten, who has already headed back to England in preparation for next month's Commonwealth Games, labelled the award a highlight of her career.
''I feel really privileged to have been even playing in the competition let alone taking an award like this,'' she said.
"It's a great accolade but it really is credit to the team. You can't win an award like that without having a great team behind you. Even though it's an individual thing, I do really base it on the team performance and how we came together this year.''
I'd have to say it's probably my best season of netball to date. It's a really exciting team to be a part of, so I think I've made some good improvements with this team and under [coach] Julie [Fitzgerald] and I'm pleased with how it all went.''
AT A GLANCE
Kimberlee Green (Swifts) - 19 votes
Jo Harten (Magic) - 19 votes
Tegan Caldwell (Vixens) - 18 votes
Erin Bell (Thunderbirds) - 17 votes
Romelda Aiken (Firebirds) - 15 votes
Caitlin Bassett (Fever) - 14 votes
Susan Pratley (Swifts) - 14 votes
Madi Robinson (Vixens) - 13 votes
Mwai Kumwenda (Tactix) - 13 votes
Maria Tutaia (Mystics) - 12 votes
Jhaniele Fowler-Reid (Steel) - 12 votes