Being at home means playing in front of our home fans, minimal travel, being surrounded by friends and family, sleeping in your own bed, knowing your training space, knowing the roads, knowing where to get good meals… and all those things seem to make playing at home better.
Like most teams in the ANZ Championship, the SKYCITY Mystics have a better record at home than away.
Their draw this year, though, has seen them play six of their first eight games on the road, taking them from Christchurch to Perth to Adelaide to Rotorua to Wellington to Sydney.
So you could understand why the team would be looking forward to getting back to their home base at The Trusts Arena for four of their final five regular season matches.
Things don’t instantly get easy just because you’re home, though, and the teams the SKYCITY Mystics will face bring plenty of firepower.
For starters, there’s the Queensland Firebirds, who include the Australian captain Laura Geitz and the star Jamaican shooter Romelda Aitken. Then it’s the turn of the Mainland Tactix, who the SKYCITY Mystics beat twice last season, but the biggest margin was just three goals.
The local derby against the Waikato BOP Magic will be a very popular game and among the intriguing elements there will be seeing what influence the former Magic coach Noeline Taurua can have. She’s now a specialist coach for the SKYCITY Mystics, supporting Debbie Fuller.
And the final home game of the season sees the current ANZ Championship titleholders, the Melbourne Vixens, swagger into town. Their big guns include Geva Mentor and Madi Robinson.
Maria Tutaia and her team will need plenty of support to bring things home strong. So get on down to The Trusts Arena and lend your voice to the cause.