Hopes high for two wins this weekend
Capital's women's team is banking on a raft of Junior Black Sticks and the last- minute arrival of a Dutch import to improve upon last season's seventh placing in the National Hockey League.
Under-21 Netherlands representative Maartje Groen flies into Wellington today, just in time to take the field against Central in the opening match tomorrow at 11.30am.
"She's really confident and capable," Capital women's coach Hugh Rosemergy said.
"She seems like a tremendously enthusiastic woman."
The average age of the team is 22, with veteran striker Trish Ross, 32, providing some experience up front.
Jenna Anderson, Genevieve Macilquham and Felicity Reidy are current Junior Black Sticks, while Tara Hall, Katarina O'Callaghan and Holly Gaskin are graduates of that team.
"It's a team that's well established in its culture and knows what it wants to achieve - we're a very happy team," Rosemergy said.
"[But] I think it's naive to go and say we want to win this campaign, because you don't know what's going to happen between now and halfway through next week."
First-time captain Aniwaka Roberts, 23, was aiming for "two [wins] out of two this weekend" despite being without their only Black Stick, Anita Punt.
Both Capital's men's and women's teams back up against Southern in Dunedin on Sunday.
"It's a bit of a shame she isn't playing . . . but you've just got to get on with the job," Roberts said.
"We're looking for a good start first up . . . there's always a goal to make top four, but we've just got to take it game by game and keep performing consistently throughout the week."
After an intensive 12-week buildup, the team have gelled, Roberts said. "We understand each other's play and are looking forward to putting it out on the field."
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- The Dominion Post
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