IT is no secret that St Pat’s coach Jaden Ekert would love his side to sit in the top two of the women’s Premier League Hockey ladder come finals time, but for now the blue and whites are adopting a different approach.
Instead of thinking about what is to come and possible finals scenarios, Ekert will focus his players on one week at a time.
This week the task is to beat Orange side Confederates and in doing so, leapfrog them into third position.
“From here on in it’s pretty much finals for us, we want to try and chase that top two finish and if not, if it’s out of our reach, we just need to concentrate week in and week out,” Ekert said.
“We’ve just got to get those four points, get off the field and let the girls have another week’s rest and see what happens.
“With City and Panthers, they are going to be hard to beat from here on in, so the best thing we can do is prepare well and play each week on its merits.
“But first and foremost, we’ve got to win this weekend and probably win the next three weeks just to stay in the finals race, that’s how close it is.”
Last Saturday when the Saints suffered a shock 4-0 loss to Parkes they had five players missing, but things are look better for the clash with Feds.
Amy Glenn has returned from overseas, Carly Hagney is a chance to play despite breaking her thumb against Lithgow Panthers, while Emma White has recovered from illness.
But even with that trio back, Ekert knows the rest of his squad must produce better hockey than last Saturday if they are to beat a much improved Feds outfit.
Instead of fighting to avoid the wooden spoon as has been the case in recent seasons, Feds are fighting for a spot in the major semi-final.
The Orange side beat Pat’s 2-1 earlier this season and currently sits two points ahead of the blue and whites.
“They’ve got a really good side, they’ve got a good mixture of youth and age on their side, kind of like what we have,” Ekert said.
“They can be vulnerable around the midfield and we need to try and exploit that, but in saying that, we can be too if we are not on our game.
“If we are not trapping the ball and not supporting the ball carrier, all those little one percenters, all the cliched things I go through each week, if we are not doing those this week, we could be in for a really, really hard game.
“Every time we’ve played Feds, even in the trial games, they really stuck it to us and we need to show them a lot of respect, especially given what they are capable of.”
Saturday’s match between St Pat’s and Feds at Bob Roach Field starts at 4pm.