PREMIER League Hockey president Adam Hurford is tipping two sides to stand up and be counted when round one of the 2014 men’s premiership begins on Saturday.
“St Pat’s and I’ll say Parkes, they’ll be one too,” Hurford said delving into his men’s PLH crystal ball.
Sadly, however, the latter of Hurford’s predictions is somewhat of a double-edged sword.
Hurford is one of the Wanderers senior statesmen and with the sole Orange men’s PLH club set to make the arduous trip to Parkes for Saturday’s season opener against United, Hurford is no doubt very aware of what his side is about to face.
He believes the key for his side is looking after number one - themselves.
“The number one thing for us is we’ve had a change of structure and coaching, with Beth Shea now helping Porky (Andrew Reddan) out,” he said.
“Beth is big on rotation, so that’ll be the biggest change for us. We’ve gone with experience in the last couple of seasons and tried to get the most out of those guys from the start of each match.
“But I think we’ve got a nice blend of experience and youth this season.”
There has been a couple of changes to last year’s Wanderers roster.
Regular stopper Chris Allport is gone but Daryl Kennewell is a ready-made replacement at goalkeeper for the club.
Trent Lane has joined Orange from Alice Springs, as has Adam Huskins from Albury.
And Hurford said he expected to know whether gun Essendon premier league player Daniel Moore was also set to join Wanderers over the coming weeks.
In the mean time, the key defender was banking on a hard clash with Parkes, a team welcoming back former state representative and 2013 Moorebank premier league star Jack Elliot and NSW under 18s representative Kyle Lovett.
“It’ll be very tough,” Hurford fired.
“They have a number of good players coming back into their side and then they’ve still got blokes like Ben Hawkins playing well.”
The Wanderers tackle United in Parkes while Souths host St Pat’s in the Bathurst derby and Lithgow’s Zig Zag and Panthers face-off to round out the opening round of the men’s 2014 PLH competition on Saturday.