Our Tassie Van Demons and Tassie Tigers are back at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre this Sunday, October 14 as they take on NSW in round 2 of the Australian Hockey League.
The Van Demons will push back at 1.00pm, with the Tigers following at 2.45pm.
2018 Australian Hockey League
Assistant Coach – Brett Withington
Team Manager – Greer Wells
Sports Scientist – Ben Scarlett
Doctor – Ian Middleton
Physiotherapist – Ian McHugh
In a match that was much more competitive than the scoreboard showed, the Van Demons were handed a 3-0 loss at the hands of the Canberra Strikers in Round one of the Australian Hockey League.
Coach Ilene Carr was disappointed that the team conceded a late goal through a costly error, but overall saw positive signs from the teams play.
“I’m relatively happy with last week’s performance. I thought we absorbed a fair amount of pressure and our defence was reasonably well organised and led well by Ruby,” Carr said.
“We had some good counter-attack and we will be looking to take advantage of these opportunities again this weekend.”
Taking advantage of those opportunities will be key for the Van Demons in competing against a NSW side with a wealth of Hockeyroos experience.
Coach Carr admits that the weekend’s game will be a challenge for the side, but believes it will be an entertaining game for the crowd.
“NSW have an abundance of talent to pick from and their squad includes a number of current and ex Hockeyroos and are well lead by Hockeyroos captain Em Smith.”
“They are a disciplined team and are very good at taking their chances from a very open style of play. Ensuring we are well organised defensively is going to be critical and we need to make the most of having a little more space to work in.”
Van Demons star Sofie Mcleod will bring up a milestone on Sunday when she plays her 100th game – 15 years after making her debut in 2003.
“Sof joins an elite club as there are only a couple of other players who have reached this milestone as a Van Demon,” Carr said.
“This is a fantastic achievement and to be able to achieve this in front of a home crowd should be quite special for her.”
“Sof’s return to the AHL last weekend was really good for the team and she showed her experience out there on the pitch, I’m sure she will have the same impact this week playing in such a big match.”
Julia Gunn, 16, is the lone inclusion for the Van Demons and will make her Australian Hockey League debut on Sunday as the team’s youngest players.
Gunn is one of Tasmania’s female players to watch, being named in the Hockey Australia 2018 National Futures squad – the Futuroos – alongside Van Demons teammate Phillida Bridley.