SINGAPORE- There is a sense of unfamiliarity about the netball Nations Cup this year, despite the home-grown tournament now well into its eighth edition.
With new coach Ruth Aitken at the helm and stalwart Jean Ng now retired, the national team are in uncharted waters this time.
Even Aitken, who has won the coveted world championship both as a player and coach with New Zealand, admits she cannot help but have a case of the jitters.
"I certainly feel like I'm a new kid on the block," she told The Sunday Times.
"The team won the Asian Championship last year and we're working towards defending that (next year).
"There is a lot of pressure. You can do well with one group but it's about how you can adjust and adapt to a new group, and that's the challenge of coaching."
Since taking over the reins in July, the 57-year-old has had the unenviable task of grooming the young ones and guiding a team through a period of transition after the retirement of veterans such as Pearline Chan and Tan Hui Yan.
This is also the first time the team will be competing in the six-nation tournament without former captain Ng, who played her swansong last year after 111 caps.