New Wildcats American players keen to get teeth stuck into Super League

New Wildcats American players keen to get teeth stuck into Super League

The SETU Waterford Wildcats have their first home game of the season on Saturday evening when they welcome the Trinity Meteors to the Mercy Gym.

The opening weekend of the new Super League season got off to the best possible start for Tommy O'Mahony's team when they pulled off the toughest win in the league.

An away trip to Glanmire - the back-to-back league champions - is as daunting a start to the campaign as could be asked for, but the Wildcats impressed on the night to win out 80-75.

O'Mahony has new talent to draw on this season with Jazmine (Jazz) Massengill and Miya Clark making the trip across the Atlantic to ply their trade on Suirside following their time in the American collegiate system.


Massengill hails from Tennessee, but played her college ball for Flordia State University, while Clark is a Chicago native who played at both Saint Louis University and University of Evansville.

Both players featured for the Wildcats last weekend as they claimed an early share of top spot on the leaderboard and both tell WLR Sport that they have had to adjust to how we play the sport compared to what they are used to.

"I've been surprised. I didn't know the physicality level was going to be how it is. I did expect the skill level because I think in the US we are more skillful, but at the end of the day I think it tests your true skills and your mental discipline coming down to putting what you've learned over so many years into play," Clark noted.

Both players come to Ireland with pedigree playing at the top level of the American college system and they will have to adjust to an entirely new match-day experience. College sports in America is big business with stadiums and arenas regularly filled with fans supporting their hometown school, or indeed alma mater. The other key difference to game days will be the expectation to deliver results for the team. The American players can make or break a season for the Super League teams and head coach O'Mahony will be hoping that he has unearthed a pair of diamonds to boost their title challenge.


Clark says that she is not feeling any pressure to perform because she's been there and done it before.

"I'm sure Jazz can say the same, like, in high school, we were the best players on the team so that pressure has always been on us, even in college. It's something that we are used to so if the pressure is on us to perform and be at our best in every way - whether that's in scoring, rebounding or dishing out assists - we need to be performing at some kind of level in every game."

The next challenge for the Wildcats comes in the form of Trinity Meteors whose fledgling team were beaten in their league opener last weekend. Saturday evening will be the first home game of the season for the Wildcats who have a chance to claim an early season spot at the top of the table.

Tip-off is at five o'clock in the Mercy Gym (Saturday, September 30th).