THERE are a host of international players across the world that, much like a fine wine, have simply gotten better with age. With netball on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Draft Central takes a look at players that fall into the category of over 30 and still have plenty in the tank given their on-court prowess. Coming up next at number nine is England Roses and GIANTS Netball tall timber, Jo Harten.
Another highly talented goaler in our countdown who proves that age is just a number. While Harten has only just hit 31-years-old, she has more than shown over the past years that she is capable of adapting her play to be a more creative and versatile goaler. Typically sitting back in goal shooter with the Roses, Harten added another string to her bow playing in the Suncorp Super Netball, playing out in goal attack first with Susan Pettitt during the 2018 season before plying her trade out in front of Caitlin Bassett in 2019.
While there was a real adjustment period for Harten and Bassett, Harten rarely skipped a beat throughout making the change, using her cleanliness and endurance to provide a tough option to stay on top of down the court. Standing at 188cm, Harten was unfazed jumping into goal attack, plying her trade at the post and playing a solid role defensively thanks to her long arms and wingspan, forming a threatening defender down the court.
With accuracy and an ability to shoot a high volume, Harten is a quality goaler if not for those traits, but also adding in her versatility and range of movement in the goal circle. A player driven by excitement and confidence, Harten can shoot from far and wide in the circle to form a crucial part of any attacking lineup, using her game smarts to interpret the play and adapt with grace.
While Harten can at times allow the match to get the best of her, her craftiness allows her to find plenty of ball and work her way back into the game while her experience and range of abilities finds her in a real leadership role at the GIANTS. Just inside the top 10, Harten’s position is credit to consistency with the tall timber clever with her movement and unsuspectingly quick on her feet.
TOP 20 PLAYERS OVER 30:
#20 Stacey Francis (West Coast Fever/England)
#19 Laura Scherian (Sunshine Coast Lightning/Australia)
#18 Ama Agbeze (Severn Stars/England)
#17 Phumza Maweni (Sunshine Coast Lightning/South Africa)
#16 Jade Clarke (Wasps Netball/England)
#15 Chelsea Pitman (Adelaide Thunderbirds/England)
#14 Romelda Aiken (Queensland Firebirds/Jamaica)
#13 Madi Browne (Collingwood Magpies/Australia)
#12 Nat Medhurst (Collingwood Magpies/Australia)
#11 Mwai Kumwenda (Melbourne Vixens/Malawi)
#10 Caitlin Thwaites (Melbourne Vixens/Australia)
#9 Jo Harten (GIANTS Netball/England)