Kaitlin Radstaak was confident scoring goals would not be an issue for Warners Bay this Herald Women's Premier League season but probably did not expect hat-tricks from three different teammates in round one.
Radstaak was one of eight WPL player representatives at the competition launch last week. The Newcastle Herald took the opportunity to gain insight into each team ahead of the season, which kicked off with some lop-sided scorelines last Sunday.
The back-to-back minor premiers and 2016 champions opened their 2019 campaign with a convincing 9-1 win over Adamstown at John Street Oval on Sunday.
At the launch, Radstaak revealed clinching another championship was a driving force within the squad this year after the club lost the past two grand finals 4-3 to Merewether.
"Obviously we've been minor premiers for the past two years and fallen at the last hurdle - the grand final against Merewether," Radstaak said.
"So we're hoping to go one further this year and lift that grand final trophy."
Kingsley, the competition's leading scorer for the past two seasons, Pender and Squires were all singled out by Radstaak as being influential to the side's success.
Not only has Kingsley made a habit of wreaking havoc on the opposition defence, Radstaak revealed she was one who kept the mood light at training.
Squires, on the other hand, brought an "intense" presence.
But the one to watch this season, she predicted, would be Pender - the "crafty" young gun who has played two seasons with the W-League Jets.
"Obviously we've got Jenna and Cass (Davis) coming back off a W-League season, but I think Tara Pender is always one to watch. She always works hard in midfield and is a pretty crafty player, so look out for her," Radstaak said.
A lot of talk has centred around New Lambton and South Wallsend, both strengthened by some key off-season signings, but Radstaak also remained wary of back-to-back champions Merewether.
Warners Bay face their first test of the season when the Panthers host a new-look Wallsend side in round-two action at John Street Oval on Sunday. Wallsend started their season with a 6-0 win over Thornton.
Stay tuned for insight into other WPL teams this week with player videos to come from Sam Bestwick (Mid North Coast), Lauren Faulkner (Thornton) and Rhali Dobson (Merewether).
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