THIRTEEN, 14, 15.
That’s Albury-Wodonga Spitfires coach Matt Smart adding up the injury and representative outs ahead of today’s first leg of a Capital league double header at the Albury Hockey Centre.
The torrid start to the season has seen the men’s team decimated by injury, with this week’s Victorian junior country championships adding to their woes.
The Spitfires will play St Pats in Albury today and tomorrow, but Smart said they would call on some wily veterans to shore up the downfall.
Spitfires game record holder Ian Beath is just one of those likely to answer the call.
“At some stage we will have everyone back and it will be a different story,” he said.
“We have played some of the better sides in the early rounds, probably the teams that are going to finish one, two and three.
“It’s hard to get where we want to when we are constantly changing the squad, but there have been some good signs.
“Our second half against Central was good — if we can get three or four weeks of the same team we will be competitive against the second two teams.
“We are looking at probably three weeks before we get everyone back, everyone fit — only then will we know where we stand.
“But the squad on the weekend has some quality players and they will give a good account of themselves.”
The Strikers will also play St Pats today, with captain Nan Latta calling for more intensity.
“Training has been about getting more pace in our play — increasing our intensity, making quicker decisions and getting our shots away,” she said.
“Just making better decisions in the attacking circle.
“Last week our defence was great but in attack we were too defensive, we didn’t have one short corner, we had one opportunity that should have gone in the net and I think I touched the ball eight times.
“So we didn’t get the ball in there and when we did, we didn’t do enough with it.
“St Pats should be about our level but they will be intense and strong and we will need to match that.”