Although out-and-out superstars India Draper and Eva Reith-Snare will miss Confederates' huge women's Premier League Hockey all-Orange derby against competitions leaders CYMS, Fiona Reith is confident her troops can still rise to the occasion.
The star duo is away with their respective NSW under-21 sides at this week's national championship so Reith will look to her side's remaining guns to lift in their absence, with Saturday's round 11 clash a huge opportunity for Confederates to stamp their authority on the 2019 title race.
Confidence-boost aside, a victory over the title favourites could push Confederates into outright fourth and at the very least it would keep firmly in the fierce battle for fourth spot.
As it stands, Reith's side is in a share for fourth with Bathurst City, they trail third-placed St Pat's by 10 points and Souths are breaking down their necks as well.
"We've got India and Eva out but I'm hoping the depth in our squad will be a factor and everyone can step up, come to the party and make a contest out of it," she said.
"The depth we have is great. We lack a little bit of big-game experience but I think if we don't put pressure on ourselves and just play our game, that's when we can do the most damage. We're quite fast, so I think we'll look to use our speed and our good elimination skills to basically work as a team."
She went on the laud the efforts of the green and golds so far this season, in just their second year back in the competition as a stand-alone side they've rolled to eight wins from the opening 10 rounds.
But it's a local derby and, like we've heard so many times in so many sports, Reith said "anything can happen".
As long as Confederates maintain their composure, that is.
"CYMS are the front-runners and there's a very good reason for that so we don't have any unrealistic expectations but on any give day we can give it to anybody," Reith said.
"CYMS are pretty skilled across the park and their experience is amazing and we've got to respect that, but sometimes you can also rise to the challenge - if a side's at that elite level you can step up and play that way anyway.
"Local derbies (are) a great showcase of the local talent and everyone knows each other so well and the last time we played CYMS ... I think the occasion got to us, we've got to keep our composure."
Coming off a gritty 2-1 defeat to Confederates last weekend Ex-Services travel to Lithgow this weekend to face the second-placed Panthers.
The blue and golds have improved steadily this year and a breakthrough victory looks just around the corner, although there is no tougher trip in the competition.
Confederates face CYMS from 12.30pm at Orange Hockey Centre, Ex-Services clash with Panthers from 2.40pm at Lithgow.
The still-winless Wanderers will have the week off, with the men's competition enjoying a general bye.
WANT MORE ORANGE SPORT AND NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...