Three runner-up placings in New Zealand polo tournaments are enough for visiting South African player LeRey Young.
"It's time to go one step better and it would be great to do it at the Savile Cup nationals. It would definitely be something to email home about," Young said on the eve of the 23-team Savile Cup tournament which begins in Hastings today and continues until Sunday.
A veteran of 10 years in the code back in the Orange Free State, Young, 21, is in the Bay for five months, mixing grooming work for Hawke's Bay-based New Zealand Polo Club president Richard Hunt and his English professional, Ollie Jones, with a playing stint.
"I'm sure Ollie will be able to scream us towards a title ... he always has plenty to yell about when we're playing," Young quipped.
The 0 goaler who will play in the No 3 position for the Hawke's Bay D team in the McKenzie Salver section of the nationals, Young played for a Hawke's Bay side which finished second in the 0 goal section of last month's Wine Country Cup tournament in the Bay, a Hawke's Bay team which finished second at last month's open women's tournament in the Bay and another Bay side which had to settle for second at the Rangitikei Cup tournament this month.
"I don't know too much about our opponents but our Bay team is definitely capable of doing well," Young said.
Jones will captain the side in the No 4 spot. Jonty Apatu, who has a -1 handicap will have the No 2 role and Victoria Muir, who has a -2 handicap, will have the No 1 job.
They will take on Wanstead B, Auckland B and Rangitikei C in pool play. The top two teams from this pool along with the top two from the other pool which consists of Rangitikei B, Hawke's Bay E, Birchleigh and Wanstead C will qualify for Saturday's semifinals.
Young has played in several South African nationals over the years and has tasted national title glory on two occasions.
In addition to playing in the tournament Young, who will resume training to become a pilot when she returns to South Africa in March, is looking forward to watching the star-studded teams in the Savile Cup section of the nationals. The Auckland team will have the services of four goalers Cody Forsyth and Nick Keyte.
Rangitikei will be spearheaded by five goaler Angus McKelvie, English seven goaler James Harper will be the kingpin in the Christchurch side while six goaler Thomas Hunt and five goaler Glenn Sheriff will spearhead the Morningstar team from Auckland. Argentinian six goaler Paco O'Dwyer will have the No 3 role for the Ashmole side from Clevedon.
Young listed South African six goaler Dirk Van Reenen as her favourite player and will see him playing for South Africa in a test against New Zealand in Kihi Kihi on February 8.
Along with the five Savile Cup teams four, Hawke's Bay A, Wanstead A, Kihi Kihi A and President's A will contest the Wilson Cup section of the nationals. Six teams, Hawke's Bay B, Waimai, Kihi Kihi B, Hawke's Bay C, Poverty Bay and President's B, will battle in the Riddiford Levin Cup section.
The only Savile Cup clash today will see Auckland take on Rangitikei from 3pm on the No 1 ground at Elwood Park.
Christchurch: James Harper, Sam Martin, Pete Dormer, Zoe Reader.
Auckland: Steve van den Brink, Cody Forsyth, Nick Keyte, Wayne Hundley.
Rangitikei: Angus McKelvie, Mark Duncan, Adam Haworth, Kenny Duncan.
Ashmole: Will Jackson, Paco O'Dwyer, Henry Wood, Jeremy Jones.
Morningstar: Glenn Sherriff, Thomas Hunt, Lottie Lamacraft, Ellen Morgenstern.
Hawke's Bay A: Jonny Coddington, Ollie Jones, Lucy Coddington, Ann Marie Cavanagh.
Wanstead A: Simon McDonald, Lucas Simcox, Wirihana Kururangi, Ben Reisma.
Kihi Kihi A: Michael Kay, Leonard Kay, Paul Kay, Stephen Kay.
President's A: Lachie Gilmore, Boyd Allen, George Cooper-Dixon, Becky Withers.
Riddiford Levin Cup:
Hawke's Bay B: Alan Browne, Bill Glazebrook, Joey Malone, Pete Hyslop.
Waimai: Matt Pitts, Toby Pitts, Beccy Clarke, Fran Townsend.
Kihi Kihi B: Edward Kay, Amanda Norman, Robyn Evans, Kaleb Watson.
Hawke's Bay C: Curley Thompson, Blake Reid, Jared Thompson, Fred Coates.
Poverty Bay: Cody Clark, Neville Clark, Bernie McNeil, Jesse McNeil.
President's B: Lottie Lamacraft, Missy Browne, Indie Benetto, Fern McIldowie.
Hawke's Bay D: Ollie Jones, LeRey Young, Jonty Apatu, Victoria Muir.
Wanstead B: Nick Coddington, Dan Coddington, Tim Coddington, Kylie Ebbett.
Auckland B: Wayne Hundley, Tony Van den Brink, Greta Van den Brink, Harry Bennetto.
Rangitikei C: Nathan Schimanski, David Bird, Marco Barthelemy, Cameron Robinson.
Rangitikei B: Harry Duncan, Harri McKelvie, Harry Bird, Georgina Duncan.
Hawke's Bay E: Jonny Coddington, Scott Jolly, Helen Liddle, Estee Browne.
Birchleigh: Monty Wood, Izzy Kelsey, Richard Kettle, Angus Kelsey.
Wanstead C: Robbie Hunter, Wirihana Kururangi, Jenny Green, Tabitha Coddington.