They're not strong in numbers ahead of the women's 2020 Premier League Hockey season but Fiona Reith's youthful Confederates don't plan on being a speed bump for rival teams this winter.
In addition to a host of eager, young athletes, Feds have brought in Lithgow Panthers' gun Nic Milne to help with coaching and are also expecting a few appearances from Eva Reith-Snare - one of the region's most prominent players and a long-time Confederates' asset.
The introduction of new coaches can be a helpful way to change things up before a season and Reith thinks Milne's presence will work wonders for her girls.
"We are very excited to have Nic on board," Reith said.
"He will have a lot to teach the girls... he's got experience at the representative and local level.
"He's super keen to coach and we are looking forward to developing the team and having fun this year."
As you'd expect, Fiona's daughter Eva has a bit on her plate and is set to be trialling for the Junior World Cup in October but if that tournament doesn't go ahead, her schedule should be freed up for Confederates duties.
"She's looking to play in the Sydney Metro 1 competition on a Sunday so hopefully she can do both," Reith said.
The women's draw was released on Tuesday and even though she hasn't had a thorough look yet, Reith's excited to play Parkes in the opener.
"I'm very happy to see them back in the women's competition," she said.
Reith feels like the shortened season should work in the favour of her young side and says she doesn't want to be an easy out for any opposition teams but understands the difficulty of the task at-hand.
"We will want to be competitive," she said.
"The reality will be that as a team and coaching cohort, we don't have a lot of time to prepare the girls.
"We will take it one week at a time, particularly if we are having a hard time putting bodies on the field.
"We lost a few in this transition period with COVID-19 and hopefully we will fill the gaps with some younger girls who are keen to have a run and be brought through the ranks with no pressure as the competition will only go for a couple of months."
Confederates' 2020 season draw will open with a match against Parkes at Orange before clash with CYMS in a local derby in round two.
Round three will see them clash with Ex-Services before they go on the road for the first time of the season with an away game against Bathurst City.
The fifth round will consist of a home game against the highly touted Bathurst St Pat's outfit, before they set sail for Lithgow to face the defending premiers in round six.
Confederates will close out their campaign with a match against Souths at Orange.
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