ORANGE under 13 girls’ coach Fiona Reith said her team could not be better prepared for the 2014 NSW Hockey Field State Championships, starting on Friday at the Orange Hockey Centre.
Orange will compete in division two, pool B, pitting the hosts against Far North Coast, Goulburn, Sutherland (1) and Sydney (3).
“We have a pretty tough draw,” Reith said.
“We will be playing some teams who are traditionally very strong. But our preparation has been very good, so I think we’ll do well.
“We came second last year and we only need to be top two of our pool to move on, so that will be our goal. We’ll reassess Saturday night once we know if we’ve qualified or not.”
Orange finished runners-up in division two in 2013, beaten 3-nil by Sydney (2) in the final.
Reith said having several girls who played in 2013’s losing side backing up this year is a huge advantage.
“We still have a lot of younger girls playing as well,” she said.
“But having those older girls there helps. We’re expecting them to bring the younger girls through a bit.”
Orange fine tuned their play on Monday afternoon, playing a friendly trial match against their male counterparts.
“It was a fantastic hit out,” Reith said.
“It helped us work out the kinks. We also had an hour prior to that where we worked on some things as well.
“Having Kate Pulbrook (Hockey NSW regional coaching coordinator - Western) there helped us massively. We actually tried a new structure during that game which didn’t work as well as it could have, but it was good for us.”
Orange kicks off its campaign at 9am on Friday against Sydney (3).
Friday and Saturday host the championships’ pool games, with Sunday to host the finals.
Orange will have two teams competing, with a second host side to compete in division four against Port Macquarie, Sutherland (2), Parkes, Lithgow (2) and New England (2).
The Orange boys’ 13s will be fundraising at the carnival, doing a 100 club, to help pay their way to Grafton for their corresponding championships on July 18-20.