Loyal Langman sticks with W-BOP Magic

AARON GOILE
Last updated 05:00 06/11/2012
Laura Langman std
Michael Bradley
LAURA LANGMAN: "One day I might have to spread my wings but for now I'm very content with staying with Magic."

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There were other offers for her to consider but incumbent captain Laura Langman could hardly be tempted to leave the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic.

Langman will return for the Magic's trans-Tasman title defence next year, along with her Silver Ferns team-mates Casey Williams, Irene van Dyk and Leana de Bruin.

Yesterday was the cut-off date for teams to submit their first 10 players.

While they have till next Monday to name the remainder of their squads, the Magic announced their full 14 in one go.

Langman said she had been approached by rival franchises but would be remaining loyal to the Magic.

"Yes, not plentiful but I did have some [offers], which was nice, because I think sometimes when you've been ingrained and you become part of the furniture, possibly like myself, other franchises may not come my way," she said.

"Yeah, definitely one day I might have to spread my wings but for now I'm very content with staying with Magic.

"I think Magic is such a massive part of my life. I started here. They are very much part of the reason for what I've achieved and where I am today, so they're very hard to walk away from.

"I think the environment is second to none here.

"It's very family orientated and learning from Noels [Magic coach Noeline Taurua] and being coached by Noels, I think she's one of the best coaches in New Zealand.

"So for me it was very hard to even look at other offers to be honest."

Langman said also helping her decision to stay was the retention of the other Silver Ferns.

"To have those big three alongside you is massive confidence. And you just have links there that no-one else quite understands.

"Obviously we were probably whispering as negotiations were going on to make sure everyone was on the same boat."

As for the rest of the squad, Langman is still to meet a couple of the rookies who have been selected with a view to the succession plan at the franchise.

They are midcourter Nadia Loveday and defender Jamie-Lee Price, who were part of the national secondary school title winning Mt Albert Grammar School side.

Loveday is year 13 this year and also made the New Zealand under-21 team, while Price is year 12 and is the daughter of former Warriors and Kangaroos prop Steve Price.

Another new face is that of 19-year-old shooter Kendra Falefitu, who is out of Auckland Girls' Grammar School and played for the Auckland under-19s.

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After missing out on the Auckland NPC side, she got her chance with Bay of Plenty before being asked to trial for the Magic.

"I'm just really excited and stoked to be here," Falefitu said, adding that it was amazing to be in the same team as her idol van Dyk.

Langman said the youth would bring enthusiasm to the squad and that it became infectious.

Other features of the squad are the inclusion of former Canterbury Tactix shooter Ellen Halpenny, the return of South Australian import Khao Watts and the return of defender Jodi Tod, who had a season off to spend more time with family and then gave birth to her second child in May.

Those gone from this year's squad are Sulu Tone-Fitzpatrick, who has moved to the Southern Steel, Julianna Naoupu who has gone home to the Canterbury Tactix and Arahi Wall, who was not selected.

Meanwhile, the Magic also announced yesterday that Kia Motors had signed as their new naming sponsor.

Magic squad

Leana de Bruin, Kendra Falefitu, Ellen Halpenny, Laura Langman, Nadia Loveday, Erena Mikaere, Jamie-Lee Price, Jodi Tod, Elias Shadrock, Jessica Tuki, Irene van Dyk, Jess Waitapu, Khao Watts, Casey Williams. 

- Waikato

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