Even now her side’s qualified for its first women’s Premier League Hockey post-season since re-entering the competition in 2012, you won’t catch Confederates coach Fiona Reith getting too caught up in the hype.
You certainly won’t catch her buying into any chat about a miracle, fairytale premiership win.
After all, her goal was only to finish in the top five, anything else was a bonus.
But based on the praise Lithgow Panthers stalwart Dave Marshall heaped on the Confederates side after Saturday’s draw with the reigning champions, perhaps Reith shouldn’t completely rule it out.
Marshall, a multiple-time men’s PLH title winner, was on hand to help out with his club’s women’s side as it salvaged a 2-2 with Confederates in a game the Orange side controlled, for the most part.
After seeing that performance, he certainly didn’t label Confederates also-rans.
“If they stay composed and play the way they did in the first half [last weekend] in the finals, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they went very close to winning it,” Marshall said, when asked if he’d be viewing Confederates as a post-season threat.
He pointed to Confederates’ speed and enthusiasm as two big positives for the side, also highlighting the fact the side’s younger brigade is actually quite experienced too.
“Confederates have some really good young players, some who have played for NSW,” Marshall said.
“There’s some older heads there now too guiding them. They’ve got a really good side that controls the ball very well and I thought (on Saturday) they outplayed [Panthers], certainly in the first half.
“They went into half-time leading 2-1 but, realistically, I thought it could’ve been more.
“We controlled the ball a bit better in the second half, but Confederates were very good.”
Granted, Marshall did praise all four sides to have made the women’s finals – along with Confederates and Panthers, Bathurst St Pat’s and minor premiers Bathurst City will contest the play-offs.
“From what I’ve seen of the women’s competition this season any one of the top four sides can win the whole thing, on their day,” he said.
Confederates travel to Bathurst on Saturday to play the Saints in the sudden-death minor semi-final.
They’ll be without skipper Annabelle Tierney, who flew out for America on Saturday night, and also boom 2017 recruit Rach Hoey, who is on NSW Country duty.