Magic prepped for pre-season hit-outs

Press Release February 19, 2013

Attitude and skill execution will be key targets for Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic when they put their form to the test in three ANZ Championship pre-season warm-up netball games this week.

The defending champions meet the Northern Mystics in Auckland tomorrow (Wednesday) and the Central Pulse and the Australian Institute of Sport in New Plymouth, on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

In training since before Christmas, Magic have been playing against themselves and a men’s team for the last three weeks and now have the chance to gauge their progress in ``real’’ terms.

``I’m looking forward to these games and it will be good to see how close or how far we are and also to test some of the stuff we’ve been working on to see if it actually works,’’ Magic coach Noeline Taurua said.

``It’s a good testing time, provides the opportunity to get individuals out there to see where they are at and a chance to look at a variety of combinations.’’

With the three games being Magic’s only formal hit-out ahead of their season opener against Canterbury Tactix in Nelson on March 24, Taurua is keen for everyone to make the most of their opportunities.

The coach couldn’t be happier with the team’s preparation to date, the strong training and work ethics provided by the newcomers affording a seamless transition in working towards the season ahead.

``The thing that I’m really happy with is the level we are at and with all 14 it’s getting harder and harder to see the gaps,’’ she said.

``The new ones have all come in strongly and that’s proved to be one of the successes so far this year where we have reached new standards.

``We’re conscious of looking at the things that worked for us in 2012 but also being in the mindset of not falling into any type of comfort zone and continually being able to push the boundaries, which is both exciting and challenging. We’re doing a lot of new things to keep us stimulated, me included.’’

With Tanya Dearns coming in as assistant coach, there have been some new strategies put in place at the defensive end of the court from the former international, which Taurua hopes to see replicated during the warm-up matches.

All 14 players will get an equal share of court time across the three games, giving Taurua and Dearns the opportunity to size up a variety of combinations.

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