TRYING to build momentum this season given the stop-start nature of the men’s Premier League Hockey draw is no easy task, but that is exactly what Souths is aiming to do.
After starting as a seven-team competition, the withdrawal of Bathurst City means that two sides now sit out each Saturday.
Souths’ recent run offers a perfect example of the impact that can have. The Ray Winwood-Smith outfit did not play on May 27, took on St Pat’s on June 3, sat out with the general competition bye on June 10, met Zig Zag last weekend and now sit out this Saturday.
However, Souths showed when beating Zig Zag 6-0 last Saturday that the work the squad has been doing away from the field is working.
That result will aid Souths’ bid for a top-two spot.
“If you’d asked me what the score would be at the start of the game, I probably would’ve said 2-1 or 3-1 or something like that – not 6-0,” Winwood-Smith said.
“But when you get momentum and the style we play, at the end of the day honestly I don’t think Zig Zag knew how to counter-act it. We’ve also been working on our fitness which is something we let slip a little bit at the beginning of the year.
“That gives us a lot more confidence now that the combination is right when we’ve got everyone available and we can play the right style of hockey. The hard work that we’ve been putting in has actually paid off.”
Having an almost full strength squad – Bryce Hitchcock was the only absentee against Zig Zag – certainly aided Souths’ cause. But the success was also due to the positional alterations the two blues have made.
Things such as using Matt Johnston and Adam Campbell, players who have scored plenty of goals, in defence.
“Probably the biggest thing we were most pleased about is that we kept them to no score, that was a highlight for us, our defensive pattern was extremely strong,” Winwood Smith said.
“We are trying to get combinations right. We tried a few things and they worked, the players worked very well together. That combination we used paid dividends as seen by the result.”