National netballer Jocelyn Ng may be making her SEA Games debut on hostile territory in Kuala Lumpur, but she can count on the support of at least a dozen family members to turn her nerves into excitement.
Her parents, four siblings and six nieces and nephews will be at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara to cheer on the 25-year-old, who plays goal attack and wing attack. "I feel more excited than nervous for now because I've been on the (training tours) and had exposure to international playing styles," she said.
Fellow Games debutante Toh Kai Wei will turn 21 a day after the Aug 14-20 netball competition, and hopes to give herself the "best birthday present" by helping to bring home the gold.
Toh, who earned her first two international caps at last month's Summer Quad Series in Belfast, has been employing visualisation techniques as part of her preparations.
"Every time I practise shooting, I imagine it's the final shot against Malaysia, and it will determine if we win or draw," she said.
The pair were part of the 12-member side announced yesterday for the biennial Games. The squad contains a blend of youth and experience with captain Vanessa Lee, co-vice captains Charmaine Soh and Nurul Baizura, plus Kimberly Lim and Shina Teo members of the 2015 gold medal-winning team.
Said Ng, who has three international caps: "I tend to think a lot ... the only (people who) can calm me down are my team-mates, because I talk to them about it.
Vanessa Lee (captain), Nurul Baizura, Charmaine Soh (co-vice captains), Chen Lili, Jocelyn Ng, Kimberly Lim, Melody Teo, Nur Aqilah Andin, Parveen Nair, Shina Teo, Toh Kai Wei, Zhang Ailin.
"Usually Vanessa is the one who tells me the main two to three points I should focus on on court, and that really helps."
Toh said the same of fellow shooter Soh, adding: "She always asks me to stay calm and breathe, then to be confident and take the shot."
Defence specialist coach and former New Zealand coach Yvonne Willering will be in Singapore this weekend to assist the team on defensive strategies. They then travel to Hamilton, New Zealand for a July 21-29 training tour, where they will link up with former national coach Ruth Aitken.
National interim coach Yeo Mee Hong was optimistic about the team's chances in KL. She said: "The team is getting seasoned and have been showing a lot of promise.
"We will be using the next six weeks to fine-tune and refine the team and we are looking forward to a good showing."