Women put themselves first: state championship opposition not Shea's concern

FOCUSSED: Tiff Atkinson will play for Orange this weekend. 
Photo: LUKE SCHUYLER 0531lsex3

FOCUSSED: Tiff Atkinson will play for Orange this weekend. Photo: LUKE SCHUYLER 0531lsex3

ORANGE will head into this weekend’s Hockey NSW Open Women’s Field State Championship with one thing in mind - themselves.

With Michelle Barrett and Beth Shea in charge of the coaching reigns of the Orange outfit at the Illawarra Credit Union Hockey Stadium at Albion Park, the 14-strong division two squad is expected to perform well against some stiff opposition.

And the key to that anticipated success is keeping things simple.

“I’m a big believer, especially at these tournaments, in just worrying about ourselves. We don’t want to try and think too much about our opposition,” Shea said.

“Every game is a bit of an unknown, and that’s a good reason in itself to not get too caught up in who we’re playing.

“If we can make the semis then anything can happen after that.”

Orange is in pool  A of the girls’ division two championship in 2014.

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They’ll tackle Illawarra in game one on Saturday morning before going head-to-head with New England, Manning Valley and then Lithgow in their remaining pool games.

In a bid to promote junior talent, the Orange team is stacked with players running around with Orange’s women’s Premier League Hockey teams, with Ex-Services guns Leanne Kennewell and Mel Hope looking after the team’s captaincy.

Shea said with some of those players in good form, a solid campaign was ahead of her side.

“They did really well last year and I think with a few good performers in the team this year, a few of the younger girls are that year older, we can expect to do well again,” she added.

Orange’s first game against Illawarra will begin at 11.45am on Saturday.

ORANGE: Allie Olding, Georgie Watson, Ebony Press, Chloe Press, Madie Smith, Larrisa Atkinson, Tiff Atkinson, Leanne Kennewell, Mel Hope, Mel Woods, Chloe Barrett, Ellen Van Hoek, Em Piper, Jade Williams.

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