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The Eastern Hockey Collier girls team is heading to Wellington to compete in the Collier Trophy for under 13 hockey players next week. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

The Eastern Southland Collier girls’ hockey team has come on in leaps and bounds in its lead-up to the national competition.

The girls’ team will compete for the Collier Trophy against the top 21 hockey teams from throughout New Zealand.

The under-13 tournament, held in Wellington, will be a test for the team which has been training since July.

Assistant coach Sarah Wiegersma said the team had made great improvements in the three months it had been together.

“We’re had some good results and seen good improvement as they’ve been getting on.”

The team played warm-up matches against Invercargill, Central Otago, Timaru and Canterbury at various tournaments.

They received mixed results, experiencing both wins and losses, she said.

Wiegersma said the team of 15 girls was a great bunch who worked really hard.

“Just watching them learn throughout their season and seeing the improvements they’ve made has been great.

“They’re just a really nice bunch of girls that get on very well, which is good.”

Head coach Vince Ainsley said the team’s biggest strength was its consistency and teamwork.

The team placed 10th at last year’s tournament, but the team was made up of new players this year.

Wiegersma said the group would love to make the top 10 of the competition.

The Collier Trophy competition begins on Monday and will finish next Saturday.