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Improvement the aim

Continuing the improvement of her young team.

That is the aim for Jo Kelly and Co. Carterton Maroon coach Treen Edmonds heading into the team’s first match of the Netball Wairarapa Premier One Championship against Wairarapa College tomorrow.

The Maroons were scheduled to play defending champions Celtic in last week’s opening round, but that game was postponed and will now be played before the completion of the first round.

Edmonds has retained about “50 per cent of our young team from last year”, which finished third in the championship, and she wants to improve from there.

“We’ve got a young squad, and we’re looking good at the moment; we’ve got a couple of injuries, but we’re starting to come right,” Edmonds said.

Among the new faces in the team is 16-year-old Lequetia Finau, a talented defender or shooter from Tauranga, while the likes of Brittany Wildman and Ashlee Edmonds bring plenty of experience despite being in their early 20s.

Last season’s beaten finalists, Waicol, started the competition with a commanding 31-point win over Gladstone Tauweru and provide a difficult start for the Maroons.

The students have talent throughout the court, but their real strengths are at the attacking end with sharpshooter Maggie Shields and in defence with NZ Secondary School international Sovaia Sabutu.

“They have the anchors of Maggie at one end and Sovaia at the other, so one of my messages to my team is we can’t focus on individuals because we lose track of the whole game,” Edmonds said.

“They’re a young, hungry team; they have speed and no fear, and they’re unpredictable. We’re looking forward to it.”

Play will get underway at the Trust House Wairarapa Netball courts at 11am tomorrow.

Tonight Jo Kelly and Co Carterton Old Girls should have the edge on Gladstone Tauweru in the 6pm game, and Celtic are expected to be too good for Ōpaki Vixens in the 7.30pm game.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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