December 11, 2020
Defending champions Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse will open the 2021 ANZ Premiership netball league with a home match against the Northern Stars in Palmerston North on April 18.
Having seven home games across the 15-week regular season with matches in Palmerston North, Porirua and Wellington, new coach Pulse coach Gail Parata is delighted to be getting her tenure underway in familiar territory.
``It’s great to have the draw in our hands and pretty cool from my point of view that our first game is at home,’’ she said.
With the start of the season a little bit later next year, the players are in the process of preparing for the formal start to pre-season training when they assemble on January 26.
``I have put out a strong message to them to get working now because pre-season’s going to be one of the toughest that some of them have experienced,’’ Parata said.
``They’re doing their own work at the moment with a bit of control from our strength and conditioner who is providing some supervised sessions for them.’’
Along with the traditional Te Wānanga o Raukawa hosted pre-season tournament in Ōtaki which all teams attend, the Pulse are hoping to confirm other pre-season matches around the Central Zone during March.
With games next year being played predominantly on Sundays and Mondays, Parata is confident that will allow for a more consistent week-to-week structure for the team and hopefully a full season in front of crowds without any disruptions.
``If we can continue on with what’s happening in New Zealand without any further issues in regards to Covid-19, it would be really awesome to start the season off with a full stadium in Palmerston North to set the tone for the rest of the league,’’ she said.
On a personal note, Parata is excited that things are taking shape and with the draw out, a real sense of knuckling down to business for the fifth edition of the league.
``This is my second week into the job fulltime, so I have been around meeting all the players individually, understanding who they are, who their whanau is and anything they wanted to chat about in terms of our performance programme,’’ she said.
2021 Pulse home games:
Sunday, April 18 vs Stars, Fly Palmy Arena, Palmerston North, 4pm
Monday, May 10 vs Mystics, TSB Arena, Wellington, 7pm
Sunday, May 16 vs Steel, Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua, 4pm
Sunday, May 30 vs Magic, TSB Arena, Wellington, 6pm
Sunday, June 27 vs Tactix, Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua, 4pm
Sunday, July 11 vs Magic, TSB Arena, Wellington, 4pm
Sunday, July 18 vs Mystics, TSB Arena, Wellington, 6pm
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