Mind over matter for youthful Saints

Last updated 08:47 26/11/2012

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A change of attitude is paying off for the Saints women, who on Saturday beat Miramar 4-2 at the Polo Ground to record their second win in the intercity competition.

"We have had three or four years of player attitude and dropped lip and trying to motivate players," Saints coach Kiri Shaw said.

"This year everybody is enthusiastic and they have the right attitude.

"Everyone is enjoying it. It goes back to fun and enjoying it. Something has clicked with the girls and they are committed."

That excitement and enthusiasm could be put down to the youthfulness that Saints have this season, with Shaw using a number of the Saints' premier two and under-15 players in her top side, while also making sure the youngsters are not out of their depth.

"I'm just enthusiastic about the whole club scene and the young girls that are coming through and their excitement that they bring to my team.

"With this group of girls we have this year they just love playing and that is cool to see."

One of those players to benefit from that experience is her daughter Denva Shaw-Tait, 12.

For Shaw, having her daughter in the team is not entirely a foreign experience and something she has experienced herself but in reverse. Shaw was coached at club, representative and international level by her mother, Naomi, and the two also played in the same Saints team a number of times.

"I have to remember not to put too much pressure on her. I don't want to do that to her."

Also helping the enthusiasm in the team is that Shaw has willing pitchers and on Saturday it was Yolanda Hogerorst.

"She played well. They [Miramar] have some good hitters so that was a good result. She just put the ball in the spot and our fielders did their job."

The side also has Chance Warbrick and Ngahuia Kapene, capable pitchers and players who Shaw will turn to at some stage during the season.

"There is no responsibility on one person to get out on that mound and pitch. Adding that variety for them is good."

In another women's match, Te Aroha made it four wins from as many games in the intercity competition when they beat Johnsonville 12-5.

Meanwhile, in the men's competition Miramar beat Johnsonville 9-2 and Porirua City United beat Hutt Valley Marist 6-3.

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- The Dominion Post

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