Friendly match good preparation for girls and boys for state championships

STICKIN' AROUND: Orange's Bailey Ferguson pushes forward in Monday's trial game between Orange's under 13s boys' and girls' hockey teams. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0707sghock3

STICKIN' AROUND: Orange's Bailey Ferguson pushes forward in Monday's trial game between Orange's under 13s boys' and girls' hockey teams. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0707sghock3

THE Orange under 13 girls’ hockey team took a novel approach in its 2014 NSW Hockey Field State Championships preparation, playing their male counterparts in a friendly at Orange Hockey Centre on Monday.

Orange hosts the girls’ championships from this Friday, while the boys’ go to Grafton the weekend following.

The game was scheduled as a way for both teams “to work the kinks out” ahead of their respective tournaments.

The game finished 2-all, but according to girls’ coach Fiona Reith it was less about the result and more about developing as teams.

“It was about the result for the kids,” she laughed.

“”It was probably good it finished a draw, so nobody really has any bragging rights. It was a fantastic hit out though, especially for us.

“It’s always a huge advantage for girls to play boys. They’re bigger, stronger and play very hard.”

Both teams had an hour long training session, designed at improving their general play and strategies, prior to the match.

Orange Hockey development officer Kate Pulbrook was on hand to provide both teams with feedback, before and during the trial.

“It was wonderful having Kate with us,” Reith said.

“It’s great to be able to utilise her, she has a fantastic knowledge of the game. She sees things I don’t as a coach, and it was good for her to be able to give the kids some advice on the run.”

Boys’ coach Annie Pakinga agreed.

“I tend to focus on what’s happening on the ball during games, whereas Kate was giving us feedback on everything else,” Pakinga said.

“She was telling us what was happening off the ball and all the over the field. She was a big help.”

The girls’ championships start on Friday, with Orange taking on Far North Coast, Goulburn, Sutherland (1) and Sydney (3) in division two, pool B.

The boys’ side will be fundraising during the championships to help pay their way to Grafton, by running a 100 club - people buy a number from 1 to 100 and if it is drawn, they win a prize.

Orange will also have a second girls’ team compete at this weekend’s championships, in division four, against Port Macquarie, Sutherland (2), Parkes, Lithgow (2) and New England (2).

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