It might only be preseason, but already there’s a buzz around The Hawks camp in 2018, after a couple of impressive outings in the club’s early practice matches.

With an extra year under its belt, last year’s new and somewhat inexperienced Championship team already looks more polished and prepared for what lies ahead in 2018.

A solid practice match performance against perennial finalists City West Falcons a fortnight ago, followed by a 15-goal win against Southern Saints on Sunday night, has head coach Jacqui Hansen quietly confident about where the team is at, just over a month out from the season.

“The team had a solid hitout against Saints on Sunday night,” Hansen said.

“It was encouraging to see some of the newer combinations through the midcourt start to show the foot speed and ball movement in a game scenario that they have been showing in training.”

After a 2017 season that was hampered by a string of serious ankle injuries, Hanson said a consistent and injury-free preseason was already bearing fruit.

“The group has been working hard on strong and accountable defence throughout the whole court and this was demonstrated through turnovers in both attack and defence,” she said.

“As coaches, we look for those moments when we see the training the team has done translate out on court, so there were lots of positives to take out of the game.”

The Hawks’ preseason competition starts with a pair of 30-minute games against Geelong Cougars and ACU Sovereigns, from 7pm on Wednesday, April 4 at the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

The home and away season kicks off with an Anzac round on Sunday, April 29, from 12.30pm.

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