The Sydney Uni Women’s Lions team will commence their National Water Polo League (NWPL) campaign with a first round clash against old rivals the UNSW-Wests Killer Whales this Friday night at Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatic Centre (SUSAC).
The Lions will begin the season with several injury concerns. Stingers centre back Hannah Buckling is out for at least another couple of weeks with shoulder problems, whilst young representative star Bronte Halligan is due to miss at least the first half dozen games with a broken finger. Several others require injury problems to be managed, so the first couple of weeks could be a juggling act for coach Ian Trent.
Making their NWPL debuts for the Lions will be Stingers duo Isobel Bishop and Sarah Harris, whilst centre forward and SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder Gi Clark (Bachelor of Occupational Therapy) returns to NWPL action after missing the entire 2013 season with a shoulder complaint. Fellow SUSF EAP scholarship holder Emily Scott (Bachelor of Science/Law) has also recovered from elbow surgery after an off-season skiing accident, whilst big things are also expected from last season’s NWPL MVP Keesja Gofers.
Stingers goalkeeper Lea Yanitsas (nee Barta) has also been on the injured list and her return is also eagerly awaited along with another inured representative player in Tahlia Bogg. Bogg (Bachelor of Primary Education) is a SUSF EAP scholarship holder. The summer season’s top scorer Gabby Wikman has had a disrupted pre-season because of work commitments but she is looking forward to continuing her fine shooting in the NWPL, as is young left-hander Kristy Donkin who has spent much of the summer break in Canberra at the Australian Junior residential camp.
All the action against the Killer Whales starts at 7.00pm on Friday night at SUSAC. The Sydney Uni men’s team will also take on the Killer Whales on Friday night, with their game due to start at 8.30pm.