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Frustrating homecoming for Tactix shooter Naoupu
Women in sport, women's sport, womensport, womenssport,
EasiYo Tactix goal shooter Julianna Naoupu this week spoke with BRENDON EGAN from The Press newspaper in Christchurch about her frustrations with nagging knee problems that’s limited her output in 2013.
Naoupu returned home to Christchurch after being part of the Kia Magic’s premiership side last season, but had surgery on both knees during the off-season. She was only cleared to resume running on the eve of the season after four months of rehabilitation.
The 23-year-old told The Press it had been her most frustrating season as she’s battled to regain her match fitness and confidence in her shooting.
“It is tough, but that's how life goes and that's how seasons go,” she told the newspaper.
“It just makes you train a little bit harder and do the extras.”
Naoupu – who won the Best Young Player award last season – has played seven matches but been used by Tactix coach Leigh Gibbs as an impact player to come off the bench in the second half of games.
But Naoupu said a positive for the team had been the development of New Zealand 21/U player Sophia Fenwick in the goal attack position and providing great support to Jo Harten.
“She's doing her job and she's doing it well,” Naoupu told The Press of Fenwick. “She's come on strong this year. It's the best I've ever seen her play.
“We've got four games left, so hopefully I can get out there.”
Gibbs said Naoupu had shown positive signs at training over the past fortnight and was getting closer to where they wanted her to be.
“I've been really pleased with her progress,” Gibbs told The Press. “What I've been really thrilled about is that in trainings, she's showing if we were to put her on, we've got another really strong option.”
The Tactix take on the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel at Dunedin’s Lion Foundation Arena on Sunday, June 9 at 7.20pm, local time.