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Elisapeta Toeava.

Northern Mystics.

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Northern Mystics star reflects on career ahead of 130th game

Northern Mystics veteran Elisapeta Toeava will play her 130th game after ten years with the club.

“I’m definitely not a numbers girl, but I’m very grateful that it’s come to 130 (matches)”

That’s the humble response from veteran netballer Elisapeta Toeava, who will tee up the milestone achievement for the Northern Mystics when she returns from a knee injury.

Toeava made her debut for the Mystics in 2013 while attending McAuley High School in Ōtāhuhu, and despite taking a brief break from the game, has left her mark as one of the best in the competition.

Toeava, who’s brother played 37 tests for the All Blacks, says despite the “ups and downs” she credits much of her success to her family.

“My family supports me in what I do, we just do our own thing is cool. Obviously being in the spotlight, we don’t like talking about what goes on in the environment but it’s cool we just do our own thing.

“I’m grateful for my grandparents, I’m not sure if many people know but my grandparents are literally my parents. They’ve been the rock of our family.

“It has been a journey, there have been lots of ups and downs but again credit to the people I have around me who have supported me, I’m very grateful.”

Elisapeta in action for the Mystics.

The Toeava family are from Saleimoa and Leauva’a in Samoa, and moved to South Auckland where they currently reside.

In addition to collecting 130 matches, Toeva also made her Silver Ferns debut in 2018 against the English Roses.

Reflecting on her achievements, she says playing with some of New Zealand's best players has been a highlight for her career.

“First off, winning the 2021 Premiership was the first for an Auckland team. Doing it with the girls was special!

“I’ve never wanted to play for anyone else, the players that I’ve looked up to like Bubby, Kat, Ria, they’ve played for the Mystics so I just can’t see myself playing for anyone else.

“My heart bleeds blue and that will never change.”

Toeava says wearing the blue Samoan uniform would one day be an option to consider. She praises some of the Pacific women who she’s played with and who have helped her development.

“Catherine (Tuivaiti), Maria (Folau), Temepara (George), the style they play. It’s not your ordinary gameplay, it’s the finesse they show on court is different.

“That’s what I like to bring, like I’m a very different wing attack to the WAs out there.”

Reflecting on her career so far, Toeava says the one thing she would tell her younger self would be to appreciate the small wins along the way.

“If I had to look back I would say, enjoy the small moments, enjoy the knowledge from those more experienced players and enjoy it while you can!”