10 October 2007

The tennis season gets underway in Taranaki on Saturday with the Soffe Cup starting.
This season there will again be seven teams competing for the coveted prize.
The top four from last season ,  AWE Huatoki, Sandfords Manaia, Central Finance Rotokare and Hooker Pacific Pukekura are there and Waiwaka have combined with Stratford/Midhirst (who combined together last season). The newcomers are Oakura and Matapu, promoted from A Grade Division 2.
AWE Huatoki is looking like the team to beat.  They have the same squad from last season with the addition of Jordan Stayt from Waiwaka and former top Taranaki player Sumin Modgill.  Neil Bridgeman is returning from Hawkes Bay shortly and Lucy Barlow will be joining the team when her Auckland interclub commitments are finished. She is playing Chelsea Cup and Caro Bowl which are the top interclub competitions.
Sandfords Manaia are not the force they have been with a number of players missing from last season. 
Not playing are Tom Luxton - transferred to Matapu, Alaister Murdoch -not playing Soffe Cup, Nicole Koch -attending university, Alesha Ford  -attending school in Waikato.  There is a youthful look about the team with five teenagers in it.
Central Finance Rotokare have lost Kevin and Val McLoughlin who have moved to Rotorua but gained Ben Pollard, Kate Laurensen and Anne Ruwhiu -all newcomers. They will still be a force to be reckoned with.
Hooker Pacific Pukekura will be a top four contender with the only addition to last year's squad being Tania Fleming.
Waiwaka/Stratford/Midhirst have gained former Kaponga No 1 Krystal Oakes but have lost Taranaki junior rep Jordan Stayt to Huatoki.  They may struggle to make the top four.
Oakura will be determined not to be a one season wonder and they have a team that look strong enough to win their share of matches.  Former No 1 rep player Aaron Hine will spearhead the line-up.
Matapu will find the going tough in the big league but have gained Tom Luxton from Manaia who will be their No 1 player.
The full squads are:
AWE Huatoki
Jonathan Ussher, Roy Gaskin, Jordan Stayt, Neil Bridgeman, Amrit Rai, Rakesh Rai, Sumin Modgill 
Lucy Barlow, Saori Han, Janice Taylor, Robyn HInton, Chris Wilson,  Megan Walsh, Megan O'Donnell
Sandfords Manaia
Michael Gates, Jason Mills, Jacob Gopperth, Jordan Fleming
Ginny Death, Shinae Bailey, Maree Gopperth, and one to be added
Central Finance Rotokare
Ben Pollard, Chris Popata, Greg Hareb, Mike Roberts, Shane Devlin
Leith Atkins, Kate Laurensen, Anne Ruwhiu, Maureen Whiting
Hooker Pacific Pukekura
Zac Wills (to be confirmed ), Meto Snegirev, MIchael Fleming, Paul Simpson, Ben Aves
Linda Reid, Donna Thorne, Jeanette Harding, Kirsten Adam, Tania Fleming, Carole Medway
Michael O'Sullivan, David Innes, David Chamberlain, Grant Kite, Bruce Cleland
Krystal Oakes, Jayden Bruce, Alison Chamberlain, Yvonne Chamberlain, Mary-Ellen Annabell
Aaron Hine, John Hardie-Boys, Josh Walden, (rest of men's squad to be decided this week) 
Sue Oldfield, Leah Fletcher, Becky Bruckner, Miaanna Walden , Jill Barron.
Tom Luxton, David White, Rodney Perrett, Jason Hurley, Brent Perrett
Jenni White, Helen Kelly, Carolyn Koch, Anne Bridges, Michelle Furness
In this week's games Sandfords Manaia should be too good for Matapu at Manaia.
Waiwaka/Stratford/Midhirst and Hooker Pacific Pukekura will be fairly even as the combined team have stronger men than Pukekura but Pukekura may have the edge in the women. The match is being played at Waiwaka.
Central Finance Rotokare have a tough task against Oakura in a match which should be tight. Oakura have a strong women's team while Central Finance Rotokare look stronger in the men than Oakura.
AWE Huatoki have the bye.