TN coach sees gamble pay off
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