NEW Zealand Silver Ferns versatile defender Kayla Cullen has signed with the NSW Swifts for 2020. The talented defender will fill the void left by Kate Eddy and add to the defensive stocks with the likes of Maddy Turner and Sarah Klau.
Despite her injury battles, Cullen is no stranger to the big stage having played with the Ferns and plying her trade with the Northern Stars throughout 2019. The Stars fell agonisingly short in the grand final this year but she showed moments of magic with her speed, long reach and ball winning ability. She can play both circle defence and wing defence credit to her read of the play, general netball know how and experience on the international stage.
Cullen made her debut for the Swifts earlier in the year acting as a temporary replacement player in Round 10 and 11 making her an exciting prospect for the coming seasons with the Swifts. With a premiership under their belt and captain Maddy Proud set to return some stage next year the Swifts are shaping up to be hot contenders once again next season.
With an already decorated trophy cabinet thanks to her Silver medal in the 2015 Netball World Cup and gold medal from the Fast5, Cullen will be looking to add to her collection and bring the heat in 2020.
Coach Briony Akle is excited to have the talented defender apart of her squad next year.
“Kayla is a world class player and to have almost 50 international caps to her name at her age is a testament to this,” Akle said. “With Kate Eddy moving to the Vixens and Katrina Rore back in New Zealand, we needed a top class operator to come into our defensive end, and Kayla has a massive body of work behind her so fits that bill perfectly.”
Having played in New Zealand for the past couple of seasons, Cullen is now ready to cross the ditch and play in the Suncorp Super Netball on a more permanent basis and is looking forward to the chance.
“I am really happy to have this opportunity to play with a club as welcoming and successful as the Swifts,” Cullen said. “I love living in Sydney and buy into the vision Briony and her team have. “They’ve had an amazing 2019 and I know they want to go better again in 2020, which makes me very excited.”