Moulds makes move for love and leap forward

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 12/02/2014
Jessica Moulds
DAN TOBIN/Fairfax NZ
FRESH START: Jessica Moulds chases after a loose ball during Tactix training. The side compete in the trans-Tasman netball league's pre-season tournament from Friday to Sunday.

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Jessica Moulds hopes a move to the Tactix will help her take the next step forward in her netball career.

The 24-year-old defender has spent the past three years at the Northern Mystics, but made the decision to head south over the off-season.

With Silver Fern Anna Harrison missing last year's Mystics' campaign due to pregnancy, Moulds was preferred in the defensive circle until she suffered a season-ending stress fracture to her lower spine.

Her game-time was likely to be reduced this season with Harrison returning to the court, where she is expected to partner Australian international Julie Corletto.

The Tactix have shown interest in Moulds in the past and she admitted she came close to signing a year earlier.

Her switch to the Tactix was driven by a desire to further her netball, but also by love.

Moulds' partner, Andrew, has lived in Canterbury for the past two years, where he works as a land planner, and she said the chance to be closer together was a strong lure.

"That was a big drawcard. Otherwise, I'd heard good things about the environment and change can be a great thing," she said. "I was happy with the game time I got last year, but I looked at the line-up again this year and definitely court-time did come into it."

Moulds has previously been in Netball New Zealand's accelerant squad and represented the Fastnet Ferns in 2010.

Moving to a new side and a fresh coaching voice can often bring out the best in a player. Moulds said she was determined to become an established starter in the Tactix defensive end and produce consistent performances.

She has mainly been used at goalkeep during her elite career, but is capable of stepping out to goal defence.

The Tactix unheralded defensive combination of Jane Watson and Zoe Walker functioned effectively last season and Moulds acknowledged it was up to her to prove she warranted a starting role.

Moulds will look to push her case this weekend at the trans-Tasman netball league's Summer Shootout pre-season tournament in Melbourne, which runs from Friday to Sunday. The Tactix play seven 15-minute halve games over the three days.

Moulds made headlines during her time at the Mystics for her part in the "Harrison Hoist" innovation, where she was involved in lifting up her team-mate to block the attempted shot on goal.

She would not rule out using the revolutionary manoeuvre at the Tactix this season.

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The Tactix have been perennial strugglers in the trans-Tasman league, winning just six of their 52 games over the past four seasons. Moulds said their poor recent record was not a deterrent when signing with the side and was positive about their chances of regaining respect in 2014.

- The Press

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