TN coach sees gam­ble pay off

The Chronicle - - Grassroots Sport -

TEAM Northum­bria’s women’s team are fo­cus­ing on a huge week of BUCS and Su­per 8s ac­tion af­ter eas­ing past Hull Thun­der in the Na­tional Cup.

Dave Good­child’s side faced New­cas­tle today be­fore an away­day dou­ble-header against Polo­nia and Wes­sex.

That was a fac­tor in the de­ci­sion to mix things up on Hum­ber­side.

Good­child took a gam­ble, leav­ing five of his star play­ers at home and field­ing a some­what in­ex­pe­ri­enced side - but it paid off with a 3-0 vic­tory and a place in the quar­ter-fi­nals.

He said: “I left the start­ing five at home so I took a weak­ened squad but a squad which re­ally de­served an op­por­tu­nity.”

It was a switch which al­lowed Faye Hills, St­effi Boyce, Lau­ren Heath­cote and Chloe Mathis to make their full de­buts for the team and also saw a new squad leader emerge.

Good­child added: “We made Paige Fuller­ton cap­tain for the day.

“She is in her third year now and an Eng­land se­nior in­ter­na­tional player so it was good for her to take re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“There were a cou­ple of other nice highlights.

“Chloe made her de­but as a set­ter as Jurja Vla­sic did not play, she stayed at home.

“Kayla Bas­tian had a re­ally good game – she served ex­cel­lently again and was very, very pro­duc­tive.

“She has given her­self a good chance of push­ing the start­ing six play­ers.”

While the straight-sets win sug­gests an easy game, the home side made TN’s women work for the first and third set (25-17, 25-19)

Good­child said: “It was a scrappy game, a scrappy af­fair – we got the job done ba­si­cally.”

TN’s men’s team were handed an au­to­matic win and a place in the quar­ter-fi­nals af­ter Sh­effield Two con­ceded their game.

Good­child de­cided to make the most of it and use the time to pre­pare for TN’s up­com­ing matches.

He added: “We would rather play but it is what it is, we made the most of a bad sit­u­a­tion.

“I had the girls and the guys in on Satur­day for an hour and a half each for train­ing – just to make use of the court time.

“It is a big week com­ing up, not just from a phys­i­cal point of view but also due to the trav­el­ling.”

Whit­ley Bay and Ken­dal’s se­nior ladies hockey teams ob­serve a minute’s si­lence to mark Re­mem­brance Day be­fore their league clash in Cum­bria

TN’s Dave Good­child

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