THE Strikers are headed into unchartered waters.
Last year’s Victorian State League 1 winners, embark on their campaign in the ACT’s premier competition today with a home game against United.
The off-season switch to the national capital means an equal number of home and away games, as well as shorter travel times and locked-in Saturday games.
But Strikers’ captain Nan Latta says they have very little idea of the quality of the opposition or the strength of the teams they will play from week to week.
“I think it will take us at least the first round to get a handle on the standard and where we need to be,” she said.
“The ACT field a side in the National Hockey League so those 20 players filter back into the competition.
“We can only guess but we think it will be somewhere between State League 1 and Premier league.
“It will certainly help that the first game of the competition is at home.
“United are a middle of the road side looking at past results and are said to be rebuilding but either way it will be a good guide to the rest of the year.”
The strikers would have been promoted to premier League after dominating the second tier competition last year.
Latta was at the forefront of that with a record goal haul.
With the exception of 150-gamer Amy Allen the squad is not dissimilar to that team and will welcome back goalkeeper Sam Campbell.
The Strikers have also picked up another Melbourne state league player in Sam Daly.
But Latta believes an emerging group of juniors will be pushing for selection by the season’s end.
“Amy is a huge loss but we were lucky that Sam (Daly) came along and two experienced Strikers have come back into the squad.”