Player movements add to women's Premier League Hockey build-up

THE 2014 women’s Premier League Hockey (PLH) season kicks off on Saturday and, despite a plethora of talent and exciting new line-ups, newly elected PLH president Adam Hurford refuses to predict the title winners.

“That might get me a little bit of trouble if I did that,” he laughed.

Hurford did say he expects 2014 to be the most exciting women’s PLH season in recent memory, based on off-season player movements.

“There’s been a few girls changing teams, and a few coming back from having babies and other commitments,” he said.

“More players, and people moving teams creates more rivalries, which makes for more exciting hockey.”

Player numbers in general continue to rise, Hurford said, which was the main reason for the women’s PLH season starting five weeks before the men’s.

“We have 12 teams in the women’s again, and six in the men’s,” Hurford said.

“But people are coming back, and more people are playing which means a stronger competition and better quality games.”

The opening round kicks off with several blockbuster clashes, with Bathurst City taking on Kinross-CYMS, Ex-Services battling with perennial heavyweights Lithgow Panthers, Dubbo Blue Jays playing Souths, Zig Zag looking for a win against Parkes and St Pat’s playing the reinvigorated Confederates.

Hurford labelled ’Feds as a dark horse in 2014.

Mark Pengilly has come on board to coach the 2013 cellar-dwellers, and Hurford said they could be in for a successful, and exciting season.

“I’m definitely saying they’re a dark horse, along with Parkes,” he said.

“Obviously Souths and St Pat’s will be strong again, as will Panthers. It’s shaping up to be a great season.”

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