MATCH PREVIEW | Saracens Mavericks vs Strathclyde Sirens (Pre-Season)
Vice-Captain Georgia Lees is relishing being back on home turf this weekend, as her side take on Strathclyde Sirens in a pre-season friendly at HSV.
With some fresh faces in the squad and a sell-out crowd ready to get behind the side, Lees couldn’t contain her excitement ahead of the match.
“We’re super excited to be back at HSV. It’s always special playing there. We really have great home fans who get involved and bring the noise and the energy. They really spur us on, and it’ll be great to be back.”
Pre-season is always a tough period and Lees admitted that she and her teammates her excited to finally get back out on court. With a mixture of old and new in the side this season, she explained that the depth that Mavericks now have will only serve them well as the season progresses.
“It feels like it’s been going on forever, so we’re all so excited to get out on court and get some gametime now. A lot of pre-season has been focusing on the things we haven’t been as successful at in the last few years. We’ve retained the bulk of our squad, so that’s been incredibly useful for us all. We’ve got a lot of new players too though and there’s a really nice mix of internationals and youngsters in the mix. That’s going to really bolster us as a squad and mean we can use this time to merge everyone’s styles together.”
Whilst league points aren’t on the line in this one, Lees has still challenged her side to put down a marker before the NSL campaign gets underway.
“Whenever you play a pre-season match, you want to make sure you win. That will give us a huge boost for our confidence. We’re working on building a winning mentality. We want to get ahead in matches and then continue to push this season. We don’t want to let teams back into matches and we’re really working on that as a squad.”
With a lot of positivity around the side, Lees is looking forward to going up against a challenging opposition, with a chance to fine-tune new connections and links with a number of new faces in a Mavericks dress.
“We want to refine our own structure and implement it into our game play. This is a chance to see what it looks like on court against a live opposition, rather than going up against our own attackers and defenders. As a side, we’re looking to build on our connections. In the attack end, there’s some new players who have come in like Emma Thacker. She’s going to be key for us and she has a completely different style to other Goal Shooters we’ve had in the past. For myself in Wing Attack and Goal Attack, I’m really looking forward to developing that connection. We’ve got some new players in the defence as well with Vicki and Peace. We want to see how we can develop the connections with them through the whole court. We’re approaching the start of the season now, so we want to focus on trying to put our foot down and pushing on in games.”