St Pat’s are prepared for derby day against Bathurst City

THIS Saturday’s women’s Premier League Hockey derby between St Pat’s and Bathurst City is expected to be a tough battle for 70 minutes, but it’s what the Saints have done off the field which coach Jaden Ekert thinks could be key.

ANOTHER CHALLENGE: Lucy Weal and her fellow Saints won their season opener against Confederates and will look to make it back-to-back wins by downing Bathurst City this Saturday. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

ANOTHER CHALLENGE: Lucy Weal and her fellow Saints won their season opener against Confederates and will look to make it back-to-back wins by downing Bathurst City this Saturday. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

He feels the way players have prepared for the contest will help them perform under pressure in a match situation.

“Last year we were somewhat inconsistent, so this year we are absolutely concentrating on our preparation. I’ve made it very clear that if the girls don’t prepare well and train well, they will not play,” Ekert said.

“I’m trying to instil in the girls this year that you can’t just turn up to a Premier League Hockey game and expect to win, you have to prepare well mentally and physically at this level.”

Since St Pat’s last met City in the 2017 preliminary final, there have been changes to their squad.

Maddy Boyce and Sarah Watterson have made the switch from Souths to the Saints, former player Georgie McGregor has returned, while Dubbo native and NSW under 18s goalkeeper Lilli Rai Campbell has also joined their ranks.

St Pat’s come into the contest on the back of a season-opening win – having beaten Confederates 3-1 – but City also won last Saturday. They downed Exies 3-0.

“You always have to be on your toes when you play City, they’re not the reigning premiers for nothing,” Ekert said. “It’s just going to come down to who turns up prepared and who performs best on the day.”

Saturday’s match starts at 3.20pm.