WODONGA Lady Wolves have had a late-season spanner thrown in the works, with head-coach Doug Polmear unavailable for tonight’s knockout semi-final against Wangaratta.
A family wedding has clashed with the final at Wodonga Leisure Centre.
Assistant coach Tenille Collins will make her coaching debut in the club’s biggest game of the season.
She will be assisted by Mark De Koeyer, who led the team to last year’s title.
Polmear said he had every faith in Collins and the team to get the job done without him.
“I don’t think the coaching side will make too much difference, to be honest,” Polmear said.
“Tenille knows what she is doing and Mark was coach last year so the girls are in good hands.
“We’ve had two good wins this year over Wangaratta but I guess you never know what can happen on the night.
“It’s probably a bit un-Australian to not be there but I know our girls can control them if they work hard as a team.”
Collins said she was looking forward to taking the reins and echoed Polmear’s thoughts about controlling the game.
“Our focus will definitely be on pushing the defensive pressure up the floor,” she said.
“We play better when we pressure the ball in the back court and I expect the girls to be up for the challenge.”
The Wolves, meanwhile, also have every reason to be confident of winning their semi-final clash with Maryborough.
Wodonga’s men’s team will chase a spot in the North East decider just a month after crushing the Blazers by 37 points.
Coach Mick Hickey said the Wolves would come out breathing fire after losing their final match to Seymour in an upset.
However, he said the Blazers could not be taken lightly.
“They are coming into the game with some good form and they certainly won’t be making up the numbers after a long trip to Wodonga,” he said.
“They play a fast-paced game and are always hard to contain, particularly Matt Johnson.
“Tonight should be a real test for the boys.”
The Lady Wolves tip-off at 6pm, with the men’s game to follow.