Wai-BOP Magic confirm pre-season schedule

AARON GOILE
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2014

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The Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic are set to get plenty of match-play under their belt for the upcoming trans-Tasman league season.

With two games apiece against the Northern Mystics and Central Pulse as well as a tournament involving all 10 teams in Melbourne, the Magic should be well prepared by the time their first match rolls around, on March 1 against the Mainland Tactix in Christchurch.

The Magic were beaten in the minor semifinal last year and have undergone a major change in playing and coaching personnel.

Currently they are without five players from their squad of 13, with Casey Kopua, Leana de Bruin, Malia Paseka and Courtney Tairi with the Silver Ferns on the tour of Britain, while Jo Harten is in camp with England.

That leaves Katherine Coffin, Ellen Halpenny, Brooke Leaver, Bessie Manu, Jamie-Lee Price, Grace Rasmussen and Samantha Sinclair as the only players on deck for coach Julie Fitzgerald and her assistant, Margaret Forsyth.

A Magic selection will play the New Zealand Accelerant side in Auckland tomorrow, before the Magic meet the Mystics at Epsom Girls Grammar School on January 16.

The Magic's internationals will be back on deck for a trek to New Plymouth, where on February 1 and 2 they will take on the Central Pulse, with both matches at TSB Stadium.

Then on February 15-16, all teams will take part in the official pre-season event at Melbourne's State Netball Hockey Centre, dubbed the Summer Shootout.

To round out their preparations the Magic will play the Mystics at St Peter's School in Cambridge on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 26 - just three days before their first competition game.

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- Fairfax Media

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