We caught up with Marlin’s captain Zoe Arancini about what she’s been up to since last season, her thoughts on last Friday’s game and how she thinks the Round 3 games will go.
So, Zoe, how’ve you been since we saw you last season?
Really good. It has been a bit hectic the last few weeks with the AUS v USA test series held in Brisbane, but the preparation went well for the team. This AWL season is very short compared to usual as it is an Olympic Year so whilst it is very compact for us our preparation is important.
What was it like playing against rivals last Friday, the UWA Torpedoes?
It’s always a big event, you know, cross-town rivals. It’s always been a bit big since UWA and Melville came together, but it’s a fantastic atmosphere. Whether the game is here at Melville or at UWA, the crowd gets behind it so having it on Friday was quite special, especially having the sponsor function here as well. We were able to showcase water polo in WA and it was a good opportunity for the best Western Australia athletes to play.
How do you think the game went?
It was a slow start, which was expected considering it was the first game, probably a bit of nerves, some girls are a bit rusty considering. All-in-all, at the end it was a solid game and a solid win which sets us up for a good season – it was a good opener for us.
Who did you think the strongest players were in the game?
For our team I think Jess Zimmerman played quite well. Certainly, she was a centre back, she was able to keep them quiet and she was good on attack also. I also think Kelly Parks, one of our experienced players did a good job in getting in and playing centre forward. In general, most of the players in the squad played well, it was good to see.
Sounds like it’s shaping up to be a good season…
Yes definitely, I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be quite a difficult season for us. A lot of players that were playing overseas in other clubs have come back to Eastern States Clubs, so it’s raised the competition again, but looking forward to it.
What’s it like playing such a compact season in 2020?
It’s very unusual, we’ve never had to play so compact before. Usually in the past, Eastern States teams come across and we play two games, now we have two Eastern State teams coming across each round and we’re playing four games in a row which is quite gruelling. Especially considering we will be required to this most weeks. It doesn’t leave much time for training and recovery. It will be an interesting test to our fitness but at the same time it will be nice that it’s quite compact. At least from my perspective it allows some of us strong preparation for the Olympics. It’ll make for an exciting season and it will be interesting to see who survives!
Are you looking forward to the road trip this week?
I am! It’s a gruelling travel weekend as Hunter isn’t anywhere close to Sydney. The first two games will be interesting, obviously Queensland Thunder were the winners last year and we played them in the grand-final. They lost their goal-keeper who is obviously in the National team, but they’ve also gained a goal-keeper who played with me in Rio (Olympics). She brings a lot of experience to them. It’s shaping up to be some good and tough games.