Brilliant Melbourne Vixens defender Julie Corletto will join the Northern Mystics for the 2013 trans-Tasman netball championship season in a move that will reunite the 25-year-old with her basketballer husband, Daryl, a guard with the New Zealand Breakers.
Out of contract with the Vixens after five years, and unhappy with the limited time she had spent at goal defence in the past two, Corletto is believed to have been chased by several clubs, including the Queensland Firebirds.
She is considered a contender to succeed Natalie von Bertouch as the next Australian captain, whenever that time comes, and so could be the first national skipper to be based across the Tasman.
While a disappointment to local fans, her decision came as no great surprise - despite the fact that the Vixens will have a new coach next season after last week's announcement that Julie Hoornweg was stepping down from the role.
Another defender will now be sought, with Corletto capable of playing both on the wing and - in her preferred position - the circle. She had sought, and been denied, a release, at the end of 2011.
Netball Victoria acting chief executive officer Russell James said in a statement: "Our discussions regarding the Vixens squad for 2013 over the past few months have always taken into consideration the possibility of Julie not re-signing and therefore we are well positioned to secure a replacement or replacements that will complement the current squad.
"We are excited by the shape our 2013 team is taking and look forward to making announcements regarding player signings over the coming weeks. While we understand the decision Julie has made and wish her all the best, our focus is now on moving forward.''
- The Age