Quiz Napier Girls' High School 1st XI hockey captain Sophie Nation on the key ingredients of her team and she's quick to reply.

"We're coached by two members of the police force so we're pretty well disciplined," striker-midfielder Nation said referring to head coach Rob Jones who transferred to Hawke's Bay from Bay of Plenty five years ago and still plays senior hockey and former Hawke's Bay rep Dominie Cresswell who has the assistant coach role.

Her vice-captain Beth Ireland heaped kudos on the team culture.

"Last year we lost a few seniors. So this year it was important to make the junior players feel welcome so they are confident to do their thing," defender and fellow year 13 student Ireland said.


It also pays to have players who know how to win national titles and centre half Rileigh Knapp, a year 11 student, is a two-time national champion. She was a member of the Hawke's Bay under-15 girls premier A team which won their national tournament last year and the Central side which won this year's national under-18 tournament.

All these key ingredients will have to be cultivated to their full potential when NGHS joins Hawke's Bay champions Iona College and Woodford House as the Bay's representatives in the Federation Cup and Marie Fry Trophy National Secondary Schoolgirls tournament in the Bay next week.

"We're aiming for the top eight. We want to make up for the disappointment of losing our Hawke's Bay final to Iona. That 4-1 loss wasn't a true reflection of the game," Nation explained.

A daughter of long-time Hawke's Bay hockey rep and Hawke's Bay Masters player Simon Nation, she pointed out NGHS finished 13th last year and 16th the previous year.

"It's good we're playing Woodford House [2.45pm on Monday in Hastings]. They have a few rep players like us and we know how they play having beaten them three times and drawing with them in one game already this season ... it's always a mindset thing when we play them."

NGHS have won 14 games, lost four and drawn one to date this season. Tauranga's Otumoetai College and Auckland's Diocesan School for Girls are Napier's other section opponents.

"Two wins will be enough to put us into the top 16. Auckland Diocesan School for Girls are very strong ... they beat us in the final of the schools section at the Festival of Hockey earlier in the year," Knapp recalled.

Thirty two teams will play at the tournament which will see games in Hastings and Napier. Iona College are in the same section as Rangitoto College and Columba College from Dunedin and open their campaign with a 1.45pm match against Rangitoto in Napier on Monday.

Finals are scheduled for Saturday and Napier mayor Bill Dalton, Napier City Council chief executive Wayne Jack and Hockey New Zealand representatives will be among the guests at the presentation ceremony.