THE Spitfires go into today’s clash with the undefeated Wests decimated by injury but undeterred in their quest for their first win in Capital League hockey.
At least six players from last week’s squad are already out of the game at the Albury Hockey Centre, several facing lengthy lay-offs.
Andrew Nixon is the worst off — breaking his ankle at training on Tuesday night and facing at least six weeks in a cast, and somewhere between four and eight weeks in rehabilitation.
But hamstring injuries to Ben Allen and Josh MacVean have them unlikely to play either.
Coach Matt Smart said he was struggling just to count the injury toll.
“It is certainly not ideal for the team structure when you are losing players seemingly every five minutes,” he said.
“People are falling over all over the place.
“But it is the start of the season and you are trying to get them to peak fitness and I guess these things happen.
“We’ll see how Josh MacVean pulls up, he’s going to train at 75 per cent, and we’ll see whether he thinks he can play.
“We have a large squad and in the end it shouldn’t really matter, everyone is training together and as long as we stick to our structure we should go all right.
“All we can do is play our game and see what this team is like.”
The Spitfires are yet to break their duck in the Canberra competition.
Meanwhile, the Strikers will go into their round three clash with Canberra University undefeated.
But captain Nan Latta said they had been flattered against teams that rarely play finals.
“I think it is fair to say we haven’t really been tested at this stage and perhaps that will come this weekend against a team that looks like it finishes about the middle of the ladder each year,” she said.
“Each week we are learning more about our opponents but it makes it hard to prepare when you really don’t know the quality of your opponents.
“At the moment there is no issue with us scoring goals but neither side we have played to date has tested our defence.”