THEY survived two sudden death matches before being crowned premiers last season, but if Kelso wishes to build on its impressive Bathurst Women's Hockey Association first grade record in 2020 the green and whites need to fire earlier.
Last week it was revealed the season, which will commence on the weekend of July 18-19, will run for 10 weeks. Instead of the usual finals format, after the completion of the regular rounds the 2020 finale will see the top two sides in the minor premiership clash while third plays fourth.
Kelso coach Maureen Markwick, who has guided her side to three premierships over the past four years, feels the adjustments are a good solution to deal with a season cut short due to the coronavirus.
"We have had to think outside the box ... we are going to go without semi-finals, we are going to have a one versus two, three versus four, everybody gets to play on the one day and hopefully by then it can be a social day," she said.
"It's like the minor premier gets recognition for being the best throughout the year."
Last season Kelso ranked third in the minor premiership. They survived tough elimination finals against Waratahs and St Pat's before beating Souths 5-2 in the grand final.
Though Kelso has retained a bulk of its premiership winning squad and will be keen to defend its crown, Markwick feels that simply being able to compete after the coronavirus pandemic threatened the season is a positive.
"I hope it takes the pressure off the results, it's a short, sharp season so hopefully we can get in and enjoy it," she said. "Everyone has had to co-operate and work together to get back to playing ... I'm glad people are getting back out onto the field because you can't build on no base.
"We've still got a lot of the girls from last year. There have still been changes, we've had to make changes due to the late season start, but Kelso is still fielding the same amount of teams we planned on before this [COVID-19]. We've got our Premier League team then firsts, seconds, thirds and fourths.
"But we've got a high percentage of people returning. We've got a few young players, a few older players, we've got the return of Kirsten Howard, Maddy Tattersall, Kylie Tattersall, Bec Bosianek - those types of players.
"We use the younger players for Bathurst City so they have younger people coming through their squad. They will run in first grade and be hoping for a spot to become open in Premier League.
"We are really keen to get back into it, I know the players are really keen."
This season will see games run over a pair of 30-minute halves, while at this stage due to social distancing restrictions, no spectators will be permitted.