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Coach Pierce feels squad has more balance
17th Southeast Asian Games
     


"Our attack has become much stronger. This is good, as in the old days we had to depend just on Melanie. Now, there are no star players in the team. All the players are equally matched."


Hockey star Melanie Martens will no longer have to carry the burden of being the sole goal poacher because the women's squad is now balanced.

For the Sea Games, she will get plenty of support from team-mates like Chua Buay Choo, Delima Isa, Geraldine Ho, Dahlia Borhan, Nicole Quek and Foo Siew Chin.

Margaret Pierce, coach of the Singapore women's team, said: "This augurs well for the Republic which is trying to win the gold medal at the Games.

"Our attack has become much stronger. This is good, as in the old days we had to depend just on Melanie. Now, there are no star players in the team. All the players are equally matched."

At the Arafura Sports Festival in Darwin last month, the team was strong in defence. but its attack was led mainly by Martens, who top scored with 11 goals.


But since then, the team's attack has improved tremendously, said Pierce. The Singapore strikers can now be relied upon to score goals.

Asked about the players' state of mind, she said: "They used to be obsessed with beating the Malaysians. But now they treat the Malaysian side as just one of the teams."

In all, four teams will take part in the Sea Games - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

She explained that the team's new-found confidence stemmed from the fact that it beat the Malaysia Police 4-2 in the semi-finals in Darwin. The Police side has seven to eight Malaysian Sea Games' players.

Judging from the Republic's women players' performance against the Singapore men's veterans at Delta Sports Complex on Monday, has reason to be optimistic.

The girls played well against the veteran side comprising of players like Veer Singh, Gopal Singh, Balbir Singh, Bob Craig, Kultar Singh and Graeme Worth, the men's hockey coach.

Watched by Pierce, the women were composed and in control, furiously chasing every ball. They were all smiles at the end of the match which they won 6-0.



"The women have improved greatly in the past few months. They are now less hesitant to play against the men. During Monday's match, they received a few knocks but they got back into the game."


It was a great difference compared with the friendly match they played against the same veteran side last Monday when the women were beaten 3-2.

Said Worth: "The women have improved greatly in the past few months. They are now less hesitant to play against the men. During Monday's match, they received a few knocks but they got back into the game."
     

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