Jo Harten looks forward to joining Tactix

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 14/07/2011

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The newest Canterbury Tactix signing believes her form is on the way up and her new side is likely to get the best out of her.

English international Jo Harten, who has signed for the Tactix as their international import, was a standout for the bronze medal winning English at the World Championships in Singapore last week.

The 22-year-old played all six games for the English, shot at 82.6 per cent and picked up a player of the match award in pool play.

The Tactix had signed her before that and new coach Leigh Gibbs had been following her form for two years.

When she joins the Tactix, it will be her first trans-Tasman season.

"I am extremely excited to be coming," said Harten from Thailand where she's holidaying after the worlds.

"I was pleased with the performance [at the world championships] and I feel [my form] is heading in the right direction."

Gibbs, too, expected big things from the attacker who can play both goal attack and goal shoot.

"She's been working closely with English coach Sue Hawkins so we know we're getting a clever player with good knowledge and a good work ethic," Gibbs said.

"Hopefully we can build on that a bit more.

"We're confident she's going to be a pretty good acquisition for us."

Gibbs and Tactix chief executive Pete Smith have repeatedly said attracting players to Christchurch would be difficult.

The team's recent form and the fact they "won" the wooden spoon two years running count against them as do the unstable landscape and thousands of earthquakes.

But they've convinced Harten it's safe and they'll no doubt be hoping to do the same to others.

"Of course the situation with the earthquakes is not ideal, but there are different challenges with almost any environment, and yes this is a little steeper than most challenges but such is life," Harten said.

"I've heard the Christchurch community has been extraordinary in rebuilding the affected areas etcetera so I feel completely able to move my life successfully to Christchurch."

Harten said playing in the ANZ Championship had been a dream of hers since its inception in 2008.

Her English teammate, Sonia Mkoloma, played in red and black in 2009 and while her stay was understood to be an unhappy one, she clearly had nice things to say about the city and the franchise when Harten asked.

She'd been given favourable reports not only about the team but about the franchise's ambitions, she said.

Harten had also heard plenty of positives about Gibbs and that played a part in her signing.

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