DESPITE being on the wrong end of a 6-nil demolition against Lithgow Panthers in last weekend’s Premier League Hockey season opener, Ex-Services’ coach Mitch Kennewell said his team shouldn’t be written off after one game.
“We can only get better from here,” Kennewell laughed.
“We had no substitutes last weekend, and all the girls put in the whole game. Without reserves, it would be tough to beat anyone in this competition.”
Kennewell said rather than dwell on a “blown-out” scoreline, he and his team were focusing on the positives ahead of Saturday’s round two clash with St Pat’s at Bathurst’s Bob Roach Field.
“There are parts of the game where we’re already better than last season (Ex-Services finished third),” Kennewell said.
“We’re gelling well. Last year was partly about introducing the younger girls to the team culture, and they’re much more comfortable around the more experienced players now.
“They’re more willing to direct the older girls, and get into them if they have to. The talk and communication is much better than last year as well.”
Kennewell echoed assistant coach Darryn Marjoram’s round one post-game comments, saying his team is much better than the 6-0 scoreline suggested.
“Once they went a few goals down, they struggled,” he said.
“The score blew out in the end, but there was no passengers in the team. We weren’t that bad. We know St Pat’s will be a strong team, but we will improve. Granted we’re only taking one substitute down this weekend but it’s a start.”
Player availability, or lack thereof, isn’t a serious issue, Kennewell said, as the blue and golds are expecting a huge influx of players in the coming weeks.
“It’s a time of year when people still have things on,” he said.
“Summer sport, university, weddings. It’s just something we have to deal with, but they’ll come back soon. Our results will show later in the season that last week was an exception.”
Ex-Services take on St Pat’s from 3.20pm.