Jenna Anderson, left, in action for Dalefield. PHOTO/FILE

HOCKEY

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

The endangered Dalefield Premier One women’s team will play on for another season – but only by the skin of their teeth.

Coach Michael O’Connor said on Friday he’d signed up two more players since putting out a call for players last Monday.

Former Wairarapa College First XI player Chloe Frederiksen, who is moving back from Taupo, has indicated she will play, while Jenna Anderson who lives in Wellington will play when needed.

O’Connor said he now had around 14 players – six short of the 20 he’d been aiming for, but enough to get the team through.

“This is definitely going to be a rebuilding year. We have a lot of young girls who have played before, but they don’t quite have that experience.

“We do have some older players with a bit more experience and we’ll looking to them to lead and pass on their skills. I expect we’ll see good development in these girls throughout the year.”

In addition to the two new players, members of the Dalefield team, who play in the Wairarapa women’s competition, would help to fill gaps if needed.

The consequences of not fielding a team in this year’s Wellington Premier One competition – which they won in 2016 and 2017 and finished fourth last year – would be unpalatable.

Dalefield would have to start back in the Premier Three grade and win their way back into the top grade.

O’Connor said that while they’ll be able to register before the March 20 deadline, the team were still in need of quality players – otherwise they’ll have a rough season ahead of them.

“It’ll be a bit tough if we’ve only got 14 to 15, it’s 11 on the field so it doesn’t leave us much room, but the girls who have turned up since we began fitness trainings have been working hard.

“We’ve got a good committed core so hopefully we can drag a few more into the team through the season.”

The Premier one competition starts next month, but the side have begun pre-season training.

Interested players can contact Michael O’Connor on 027 506 8881 or Karen O’Connor on 027 298 9009.