Whole new ball game for Feds

AFTER one win in their women’s Premier League Hockey comeback in 2012, some might consider a winless 2013 as a somewhat of a step backwards for the Confederates Hockey Club in the region’s top-flight competition.

Not Feds though.

Preferring to look back at last winter as a watershed year that resulted in a change of coaching and a change of culture, club officials are hoping that mid-season transformation is set to payout big time in 2014.

Feds travel to Bathurst on Saturday for round one of the women’s PLH season and in a huge litmus test for a new-look Confederates, the Mark Pengilly-coached outfit will tackle reigning champions St Pat’s.

Down a few troops including last year’s skipper Jessica Marsh but high on confidence following a strong pre-season, Feds will be aiming for a solid start to season 2014.

“With the season starting so early we’ve got a few girls away on holidays and a few still have work commitments ... but everyone is ready to go,” Pengilly said. “We’ve been training really hard and can’t wait for the season to begin.”

On the back of good pre-season form, Feds defender Sam Stevenson is hopeful her side will hit the ground running on Saturday in Bathurst.

“We went alright in our trial matches last weekend,” she said. 

“We played well and some of the younger girls stepped up which was good because we’ve lost Jess. That’s made us step up into Jess’s leadership role.

“Bathurst at home is always hard, always tricky, especially being premiers. We’ll see how we go.”

Kinross-CYMS gun Madie Smith says her side shouldn’t be judged on its round one performance against City on Saturday, also in Bathurst.

“The core players we have, we’re relatively strong, I believe we’ll give them a good run for their money,” Smith said. “I’ll be able to tell you how we’ll go this year next week, I think.”

In other round one matches of the women’s PLH season, Dubbo Blue Jays travel to Bathurst to play Souths and Lithgow Zig Zag welcome Parkes to begin 2014.

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