Tactix goal defence and former Waimea College pupil Zoe Walker will return to the Trafalgar Centre on Sunday when the Tactix host the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic. Photo Pat Thwaites.

Nelson’s Zoe Walker excited for Tactix homecoming

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Former Waimea College netball player and Mainland Tactix defender Zoe Walker hopes the nerves of playing in front of her home town will have finally calmed by this Sunday.

Zoe and the Christchurch-based Tactix will play the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic in the ANZ trans-Tasman Netball Championship, at the Trafalgar Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Zoe says playing at the home, in front of friends and family, was initially daunting.

“I actually made my debut for the Tactic against WBOP at the Trafalgar Centre in 2013 and I can remember not being able to do a full lunge because I was nervous and my knees were shaking.”

The usually-underwhelming Tactix have already beaten two New Zealand franchises this season with one goal wins over both the Northern Mystics and Central Pulse.

“It’s given all 12 of us a lot of confidence,” Zoe says. “Even when we haven’t been winning in previous seasons we haven’t imploded as a squad, but winning certainly helps everything.

“To be able to walk the walk after talking the talk is a good thing and we need to keep doing that.”

The 22-year-old has been a Silver Fern trialist and has played for New Zealand A in recent years.

She says that experience has helped her mature as a player and make senior players, whom she once looked up to, seem less intimidating.

“When you are in that kind of environment, you see a different side to the girls as opposed to just their hard, netball player exterior you see on the court. The Magic have always had a core of experienced players like that but, once you’re out there playing, they’re just another body you’re competing against.”

Zoe says she still has her family in Nelson and as long as that’s the case she’ll always call it home.

“It’s always good to see my Mum and Dad and spend time with them at home, but they are also pretty good at keeping things relaxed for me.”

Zoe is contracted to the Tactix until the end of the current season.

“I just go out there and try to play as well as I can so they’ll want to keep me around,” she says.

Mainland Tactix v Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic will start at 4.10pm at the Trafalgar Centre on Sunday.