ST Pat’s coach Jaden Ekert is planning to “throw in a boomerang” in this Saturday’s women’s Premier League Hockey match against Confederates.
While his side is in good form and sitting in second place on the ladder – a better for and against all that sees Orange CYMS positioned above them – Ekert is keen to keep challenging them.
So he is planning some positional changes for the round nine match in Bathurst.
Defenders Sophie Conroy and Emma White will miss the match, so that is one area Ekert will change, but other than that the coach is keeping his positional ‘boomerangs’ under wraps.
But regardless of who he does decide to switch out of a familiar role into something different, Ekert will be looking for a strong midfield combination.
That is one area that Confederates has made a marked improvement in this season, building up play rather than frequently looking for long balls to strikers.
“When teams play with structure they become more dangerous. It is easy to mark one or two players out of a game, but it’s hard to mark four or five,” Ekert said.
“So we need to be really, really good in the midfield like we were last weekend. I’ve changed a few things, tinkered a few things because you can’t be predictable in this comp, if you are you get found out pretty easy.
“I’m going to throw in a boomerang.”
The Saints head into the match in good touch, having not lost a match since round two. Last Saturday they downed Bathurst City 4-1, meaning they have now earned points against each of their 2018 rivals.
Still, Ekert is sticking to his week-by-week focus rather than starting to think about a minor premiership push.
“The moment you start thinking ahead is the moment you start to provide inconsistencies in your game. You may win, but you probably won’t play as well if you are too orientated on the draw, the table and where you are going to finish,” he said.
“We have still got six games to go, so it’s too far out to be worrying about that. We just take it each game at a time.”
Ekert gave his players Tuesday night off training to freshen them up for Saturday’s match as he is expecting some stiff opposition from Confederates.
Not only did the Orange outfit pull off a draw with defending premiers Lithgow Panthers last week, but they pushed the Saints in round one.
“They really put it to us when we played them in that first game. It was 3-1 but at the end of the day we struggled, we had to go to Orange and play on their turf and really concentrate,” he said.
“They’ve got some quality players in key areas and if we’re not switched on, those girls can really hurt us.”
Saturday’s match starts at 3.20pm.