ORANGE striker Lyndon Jones believes a strong state championship campaign in Wollongong over the long weekend will ensure the Wanderers are in the best position possible to “go all the way” in the 2012 men’s Premier League Hockey season.
The 2012 Orange open men’s representative outfit is made up predominantly of players from the city’s sole PLH outfit the Wanderers, with former CYMS star Tim Eslick and his mates from Canberra making up the rest of the 16-man squad.
They’ll compete in pool A of division two against the likes of Bathurst, Southern Highlands, New England and Tamworth (2).
It won’t be easy.
But that’s the point.
Should Orange succeed in at least making the semi-finals of the state championships, it’ll do wonders for the morale in the Wanderers player group, who sit just outside the PLH top four.
“We could beat just about every team out there ... it’s only 10, 15-minute lapses in games that lets us down,” Jones said.
“Most of our games we’re scoring four, six goals. Four goals is enough to win a game, we just need to stop those lapses and stop letting in the extra goals. I reckon [we can do well at the state championships]. It’ll give us the boost we need.
“We can go all the way.”
The 26-year-old is in his first year of Orange hockey.
Moving over from the Western Australia mining town of Kalgoorlie in 2010, Jones has only just recovered from a series of injures that forced him to miss the last four hockey seasons.
Jones said he was looking forward to his first taste of state championship hockey.
“It should be good competition, I reckon.
“I hope I can get a couple of good hits in and carry the ball a lot more than what I usually do.
“It’s just good to get back into it.”
Jones is just one of nine strikers picked to represent Orange at this year’s field event.
The nature of the squad points to one thing - goals.
“Maybe not from me,” Jones laughed.
“I’m a bit hit and miss with my goals. The other week I got two in which was good, it shows I’m improving. We’ll have a fair crack I reckon.”
Orange takes on Bathurst in its first game of the championship from 9.15am today.
They play New England at 1pm before backing up tomorrow with games against Tamworth (2) and Southern Highlands.
The semi-finals and finals are on Monday at the Illawarra Credit Union Hockey Stadium.