Determined to make the most of her shift south, exciting young attacker Vika Koloto has done just that after being named to complete the Trident Homes Tactix roster for the 2022 ANZ Premiership.
The 19-year-old steps up as a replacement player for Jane Watson who confirmed she would miss this year’s domestic league having announced her pregnancy.
Koloto, who is a member of the New Zealand U21 squad alongside new Tactix team-mate Hannah Glen, originally made the move to Christchurch as a contracted training partner for the Tactix with a focus of doing enough to earn a full ANZ Premiership contract in 2023.
The fact that it comes a year earlier than she had anticipated is a huge bonus, but the focus remains the same as she aims to make the most of her time with the Tactix in the elite competition.
“I’m super stoked and the goal has always been to play in the ANZ Premiership. Things have changed slightly since I was coming down as a training partner but for me it’s still about taking whatever opportunity is put in front of me and learning as much as I can,” she said.
“It’s been such a welcoming environment and I’m really excited about what the season ahead is going to bring.”
Born in Auckland, the teenager has moved out of home for the first time and has been in Christchurch since November staying as a boarder at St Andrew’s College.
“I’m not a very good cook so it’s been such an easy adjustment for me being a boarder,” she said with a laugh. “It may seem like a big decision to move out of home, but I never hesitated when Marianne asked me down here. There’s a lot of support around me and I can focus on my netball.”
Koloto impressed during the Tactix’ two pre-season games against the Pulse in December and was offered the 10th spot on the roster, as a replacement player, by head coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek.
“It’s great to see somebody grab their opportunity with both hands and Vika will add a new dynamic to our attacking end which is really exciting,” Delaney-Hoshek said.
She said they were comfortable with the defensive cover they had in the circle with Karin Burger, Kelera Nawai-Caucau and Kate Lloyd sharing the roles.
“We’ve got some great options in our defensive end and the growth they showed from the first (pre-season) game to the second was really encouraging.
“Vika’s addition means there are also those options on attack and cover for the wing attack position which was important. She brings a real speed and flair and has that no-look pass but is also eager to learn and grow her game.”
The 1.8m goal attack has already had a taste at ANZ Premiership level having been called into the Stars side in 2020 as a replacement player where her fearless approach and speed stood out.
The Trident Homes Tactix play their first ANZ Premiership match against the Steel at Christchurch Arena on 13 March.