Cities to depend on juniors
HOCKEY: Cities Women’s hockey team has a fight on its hands to maintain dominance of the Premier League and local competition after an exodus of senior players.
Looking to end the upcoming season at the top of the ladder for the fourth consecutive year, the team will draw upon junior ranks to bolster numbers.
Goalkeeper Amanda Vicenzotti has defected to Arrows, inside Lorenza Rinaldi will be sidelined with a knee injury, centre half Cristina Rinaldi has left the team for personal reasons and striker Britney Clark is looking uncertain with a knee injury.
Captain Naomi Snook said players had a hard road ahead of them if they wanted to remain premiership contenders this season.
“We’ve been on top the last few years and now we’re going to have to fight to stay on top,” she said.
“We’re going to have a real challenge on our hands.”
Former goalkeeper Cathy Weller stepping back into the box after a two-year hiatus has bolstered confidence and Snook said the team had a solid backbone of senior players to help upcoming juniors.
“We’ll be looking for senior players to help the younger guys and, with the right training and encouragement, they’ll be able to step up to the challenge,” she said.
After weekly fitness sessions since January, the team hit the turf for the first time on Tuesday in anticipation of the Premier League competition beginning next month.
“It’s going to be a big challenge but we’ll be ready to step up to the plate,” Snook said.
“We’re eager to get out there and prove we’ve still got it.
“The harder the other teams play, the harder we’ll play.”