WHEN Souths’ posted a 4-3 preliminary final penalty shootout win over Lithgow Zig Zag last year, it triggered scenes of jubilation rarely seen in the men’s Premier League Hockey competition.
But as Souths coach Ray Winwood-Smith prepared his side this week for the first meeting with Zig Zag since that epic contest, he was not reflecting on the past.
He knows Souths needs to solely focus on Saturday as the two blues attempt to draw level with currently third-placed Zig Zag on 16 competition points.
“To be honest no, that’s not on our mind. But in saying that, the game we played then showed that we can compete with them and we can get the result when we play the right style and turn up with the right sort of attitude,” Winwood-Smith said.
“This season is a totally different season, and because it is so stop-start it is really hard to get a comparison to games you are playing now as opposed to games you previously played.
“Every game is a new game and that is the way you have to look at it, we are trying to step back into it.”
Though this Saturday will witness the seventh round of competition, Souths has only played four games to date. Two of those have been wins, two of them defeats.
After this Saturday Souths has another bye, with Winwood-Smith saying that stop-start nature of the shortened season makes it hard to build momentum. It also means any dropped game hurts more than in past years.
“I suppose the pressure is on us a little bit now in the sense of getting the right results, so that we stay in contact with that top group,” he said.
“This is the last game of the first round and to stay in contact with that top two, we need to win. That will give us an opportunity in the second round to step up and get the results that we need to finish the regular season in first and second.
“Because the season is so short, it’s even more important now to get the results that we need.”
What will help Souths’ cause on Saturday is that aside from Bryce Hitchcock, the two blues will be at full strength. It will be the strongest line-up so far this season.
Saturday’s match at Bob Roach Field starts at 2.30pm.