ORANGE Wanderers coach Beth Shea is under no illusions ahead of her side’s men’s Premier League Hockey clash with Lithgow Panthers on Saturday.
Wanderers upset a vastly under strength Panthers 2-nil the last time the two teams met and on Saturday the roles are reversed - Lithgow are at home and Wanderers are missing key personnel.
Panthers will also be looking to bounce back from an 8-5 loss last weekend to competition leaders Bathurst St Pat’s, with Wanderers out to redeem themselves after a 5-1 loss to Bathurst Souths.
“I’ve said plenty of times before, I’m a realist,” Shea said.
“We can justify why we beat Panthers last time around and I’m sure they can justify why they got beaten. We’re up against it today, our chances of a win aren’t great in Lithgow. Panthers are much, much tougher at home.”
Shea did concede anything can happen at in Premier League Hockey, before admitting she had little idea of which Panthers’ line-up might take the field.
“With the (2014 Hockey NSW) Men’s Masters (State Championships) on this weekend they could be missing a few, I’m not sure,” Shea said.
“But we’ve said from the start we can’t be results driven, which is why the guys won’t be thinking too much about winning against them last time.
“They’ll get some confidence out of it but we are concentrating on improving and being process focused.”
Shea said her side has worked tirelessly on penalty corners at training in the lead up to the match in a bid to improve their attacking pressure in games.
“With these games, if you pot a few early goals you can build pressure on teams,” she explained.
“We’ve worked hard week-to-week on improving one thing at a time and corners are a crucial part of hockey. Pete (Shea) also did some work with our goalkeeper on his technique.”
Shea said Wanderers will field a youthful side with 16-year-olds Gerry Shea, Louis Shea, Kynan Redden and Mitch Vennard all set to play their fifth games.
“We do have a young side, we’re missing a few players making it even tougher for us,” Shea explained.
“But it’s a great opportunity for the young guys to learn and get some experience.”
Wanderers take on Lithgow from 1.30pm.