The Good Oil Tactix coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek is excited about what two young goal attacks can bring to their game as her side prepares to open the ANZ Premiership without Te Paea Selby-Rickit.
The experienced Selby-Rickit injured her ankle during last month’s pre-season tournament in Ōtaki and will miss Sunday’s opener against the Southern Steel in Invercargill.
Jess Prosser, who was a part of the Tactix side last year, and training partner Hannah Glen have stepped up in Selby-Rickit’s absence and impressed their coach in a number of pre-season hit-outs.
“I’ve been really pleased with what both Jess and Hannah have been putting out there and taking the opportunities,” Delaney-Hoshek said.
“They’ve both had a lot of court time and their shooting percentages have been high. I’m actually quite excited to see what they can bring.”
She said it was a lengthy season and the opportunities of playing different players would only strengthen the Tactix bench going forward.
“The ANZ Premiership is a long haul so I’m looking forward to seeing these different combinations early on against what is typically a pretty tough Steel defence.”
It won’t be just in the shooting circle where a new line will feature for the Tactix with Karin Burger set to make her first Premiership appearance in the red-and-black strip.
She joins Silver Ferns team-mate Jane Watson in the circle against what will be something of an unknown Steel attacking line.
They had done their homework on the Steel’s unseen shooting combination of English import George Fisher and former Pulse attack Tiana Metuarau, but would only get a real feel for what it will be like when the whistles blow at ILT Stadium Southland on Sunday night.
“There’s obviously a lot of footage online but we haven’t seen this attacking combination before so it will be about adapting when they’re out there on court,” Delaney-Hoshek said.
“George and Tiana are definitely a new look for the Steel but we know they’ll be physically pretty tough on defence as usual. It’s going to be a good game.”
The Steel welcomes five newcomers to their unit and Delaney-Hoshek was intrigued to see if they would stick to their well-known patient, possession-based game.
“It will be interesting to see if, with so many changes, they still adopt that Steel mentality,” she said. “One thing we can be sure of though is a loud Southland crowd cheering them on.”