The Good Oil Tactix’ busy pre-season schedule starts in front a home crowd in Timaru on Friday as they take on their southern rivals, the Steel.

A sold-out crowd will watch the two teams go head-to-head at The Southern Trust Events Centre in Timaru on Friday night while the sides are back in action against each other on Saturday morning in the second game of the Fulton Hogan and Venture Timaru-supported event.

Tactix coach Marianne Delaney-Hoshek said the trip south was a chance for supporters from the large red-and-black Zone to see their favourite netballers up close.

“Obviously it will be good to get in some game play but we’re also really looking forward to getting to Timaru and engaging with the community and our fans,” she said.

Last year’s ANZ Premiership Grand Finalists came together in early January, meeting for up to five sessions a week in the hard pre-season grind.

Delaney-Hoshek said the players were keen to get in some match play and test the waters after the intense build-up of pre-season fitness.

“There are always the comments that the pre-season gets harder every year so I know the players are keen to actually get out on court now and in to that game situation.

“This is our first real opportunity to see where our structures are at and a good measuring stick for us moving forward,” she said.

“We’re carrying a few injuries so it will be about seeing some different combinations out there, but I think that’s a bonus sometimes for the experience and the opportunity for a number of players.”

The Tactix coach will have her Silver Ferns back with the side and said it had been exciting to see Jane Watson, Karin Burger and Kimiora Poi all playing their part in helping to win the Constellation Cup from Australia.

“It was really cool to see them playing under that immense pressure, out on court in international netball and helping to cement those wins over the Diamonds,” she said.  “It’ll be great to have them back with the Tactix as we go to Timaru.”

The Tactix take on the Southern Steel at 6pm on Friday and back it up on Saturday at 11am at The Southern Trust Event Centre.

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