Hunter United will begin their Netball NSW Metro League division one dual premiership defence on Thursday night with only nine players after setbacks at both ends of the court.
Shooting recruit Sally Jenkins has been struck down with glandular fever and trials set down for last Monday night failed to find a suitable defender to join the squad.
Natasha Robards then replacement Stephanie Boer withdrew with injury, prompting the trial.
However, coach Traci Baber said “we’re just going to run with what we’ve got at the moment and see where we are in a couple of weeks.”
”Maybe someone will come to area who we can look at, but there’s no use taking anybody unless they are at least at the standard we have now.
“I’m confident in who we've got. Unless we get an injury or something like that, then we'll address it, but I think we’ve got the best of what’s around.”
Baber will field a new defensive end featuring recent Australian mixed indoor team selection Angela Williams, former shooter Veronica Smith and Ebony Oakley.
Kim Williams, Laura Nolan, Karlie Robards and Abbie Gray return, while Katelyn Stansfield, Jenkins and Scone teenager Anna Atkinson are newcomers.
Baber expected a challenging start against St George on Thursday night.
“We’ve had a rough start, like normal, but the squad is confident and we’ll go down tomorrow and just do the best we can,” she said on Wednesday.
“It’s going to be a week-by-week proposition to see how we are and where we are.”
“Other teams are a bit like us, with half returning players and half new, so you don’t know how it's going to be until you get down there and play.
”But I know St George will be strong because a lot of their girls are training partners with North Shore in the Premier League.
“It will be a tough one to start and a good look at where we are.”
Hunter have the bye in round two.
Their division three side lost 38-37 to Sutherland Shire on Monday night on debut after gaining promotion from division four.
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