Magic tracking well and set for pre-season shootout

Julie Fitzgerald is pleased with her team’s pre-season progress as the Cold Power Magic head to Auckland for this weekend’s ANZ Championship Pre-Season Shootout.

“Our pre-season matches have gone pretty well,” says coach Fitzgerald. 

“We’ve had some hiccups but that’s probably good to have at this stage of the season, because you know what you have to work on.”

Following wins against the Swifts and Pulse and a loss to the Mystics so far, Julie, her coaching team and the players have identified areas that will receive attention this weekend.

“We’ve highlighted areas where we need to do some work and we’ll certainly be looking to see that they are working better at the pre-season (tournament).”

The Cold Power begin with a game against the Adelaide Thunderbirds at 5:30pm on Friday, providing a great opportunity to find out more about a team that has undergone significant change since last year.

“They’ve got a new coach and a new line-up and I’ll think they’ll be quite exciting.

“It’s another opportunity to test ourselves against different opposition and particularly a couple of the Australian teams.”

Last year’s champions, the Queensland Firebirds, will also be in Auckland along with the Northern Mystics, Southern Steel and Cold Power Magic.  The other five teams will be playing in Australia.  The tournaments will feature a combination of 60 minute games, 30 minute games and 20 minute games, with Sunday’s games televised on Sky Sport and featuring 3-point shooting.

Fitzgerald says her team is ready for the change-ups in formats, opposition and rules.

“Most of our pre-season games so far have been six quarters and we’ve varied the time (players have had on court) in those games, so we’re taking things quarter by quarter anyway.

“We’ve also been changing our combinations frequently, so we’re looking to see what we can do in each quarter more than overall games. 

“Therefore it won’t worry us that the timings vary quite a bit.”

Along with rule variations this weekend, all sides are also adapting to new rules that were brought in on 1 January and will be a part of the ANZ Championship.

“We feel like we’re getting used to the new rules quite quickly and we should be comfortable when the season starts.

“They’ve definitely sped the game up – the game is a lot faster than it was last year and spectators are really going to enjoy them,” adds Julie Fitzgerald.