No time to Mes around for Bailey at Mystics
It's all change for Silver Fern Bailey Mes ahead of the new netball season.
The 27-year-old has moved back to Auckland for the inaugural ANZ Premiership season, going from the Tactix to the Northern Mystics and will be a big part of what could be a significant year for the more established of the Auckland teams.
The Northern Stars will be playing their games in Manukau, so the Mystics need to have a good campaign to keep hold of their fans in the South Auckland area.
Mes played for the Tactix for two seasons, but being an Aucklander the offer to come back was too good to turn down.
"It's always hard deciding to move teams and obviously moving your whole life to another place," Mes said.
"But this is home for me and there's quite a lot of change, in terms of the Mystics in general and I think the whole team has gelled really well."
Mes' move back wasn't one that went down well at her old team, with Netball Mainland CEO Brigit Hearn not holding back last August on her thoughts of the switch.
"We're extremely disappointed. We are the ones who got her off the bench at the Mystics and from playing wing attack," Hearn said at the time.
"We supported her, gave her shooting expertise and time on court. For her to go back to the Mystics is disappointing."
Ouch. However, Mystics co-captain Maria Tutaia is delighted Mes has rejoined the Mystics and sees it as a benefit for not only this team, but also the Silver Ferns.
"Bailey has come on leaps and bounds from the netball she was playing only a couple of years ago," Tutaia said.
"I've been lucky in my career that I've played with the best shooters in the world, Irene van Dyk, Catherine Tuivaiti, who I miss dearly, but I know she's on another path and I'm so proud of her.
"But Bailey is an outstanding, athletic player that we have here in New Zealand."
Tutaia feels that the more time they spend on court together at the domestic level, will help the combination when it comes to international netball.
"I know that's another reason why Bailey wanted to come back to the Mystics," Tutaia said.
"I can't do another silver at the Commonwealth Games or the World Cup, so I think it was very smart of Bailey to come back home and she's making the most of our opportunities together at trainings."
With the ANZ Premiership only played on this side of the Tasman, there's hope that the New Zealand teams will return to playing a Kiwi style of netball, which in turn will make the Silver Ferns more competitive against Australia.
Given that the New Zealand team's record against the Australian sides was generally dreadful in the old ANZ Championship, there should be more competitive netball from the teams and more contests that fans want to seek.
"There was a bit of negativity and everyone's been talking about consolidating our own New Zealand style," Mes said.
"But everyone loves a good match up within New Zealand and that's going to be happening week in, week out, which is going to be awesome."
First up for the Mystics this season will be playing Central Pulse in Hamilton on March 26.
The two sides played against each other in a preseason game Otaki last weekend, with the Pulse winning 53-40.
Despite the loss, Mes says she's optimistic of a different result later this month.
"The Pulse are definitely a strong defensive unit," she said.
"They've had quite a lot of time together, so it was good to get practice against that style.
"They probably didn't see too much of what we were able to produce on court, so that was a good thing.
"We feel pretty confident on what we can deliver and that's what we'll be focusing on."