A failed Comm Games, a new position and two years on the bench: Pulse star uses every obstacle to learn

It hasn't been the smoothest road for Central Pulse mid-courter Claire Kersten.

After breaking into the New Zealand under 21s, Kersten had to wait until she was 24 before earning her first professional contract with the Pulse back in 2013, only to then spend the best part of the next two seasons on the bench.

But fast forward to 2018, and Kersten has proven to be an invaluable member of the starting seven.

"It's been a bit of a struggle. Very much up and down," she said.

"At times you sort of question whether it's going to work out, but the last couple of years have been amazing and have made those low points worthwhile."

Sunday's grand final will mark quite a transformation for Kersten, who switched from wing defence to centre this year.

"I've come from a circle 'D' background but obviously height's not on my side.

The feeding aspect has been a big aspect for me - that's been the biggest challenge this year."

Her form saw her called up to the Silver Ferns' Commonwealth Games squad and while the campaign itself may have been a disaster, the centre says she benefited from it.

"There were some really tough times over there but there were some great moments and I learned a lot from that experience from a netball point of view, but also personally."

Kersten and the Pulse play the winner of tonight’s semi-final between the Tactix and Steel in Palmerston North on Sunday at 4:15pm.

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