Spitfires chasing a win at Goulburn

Josh Pritchard on the burst during the clash with Canberra United last week. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

Josh Pritchard on the burst during the clash with Canberra United last week. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

THE Spitfires head to Goulburn today for a clash with fellow Hockey ACT newcomers and the possibility of playing Commonwealth Games-bound Kookaburra Glenn Turner.

World Cup-winning Turner was the catalyst behind Goulburn entering the competition this year but will be limited to only cameo appearances by his international commitments.

But Spitfires coach Matt Smart said they would focus on their game.

Fraser Cullen and Zac Kraich will miss the match due to their involvement in the NSW under-18 championships. But the Spitfires will add Josh MacVean to the backline and captain Tony Donnelley will make his first start for the season after the Spitfires first round 3-0 loss.

“They will be very interesting if Glenn Turner turns up,” Smart said.

“But we will look to improve on the areas that let us down last week — our trapping, passing and just the intensity.

“We were a bit slow on the ball last week and it let the opposition set up their defence.

“We also need to be better at getting our own defensive press working and getting the talk up.

“With Tony coming back into the side and along with Dom Wild they’ll need to get their voice up and we hope it flows through the team.”

Meanwhile, the Strikers, who won their opening encounter 6-1, will head to the nation’s capital for a game against North Canberra that has been brought forward to midday.

Coach Tony Jones said it was just another step in their learning curve in the competition.

“We had a routine with the trips to Melbourne last year but we’re not even sure how long it is going to take to get to Canberra and the hockey centre,” he said.

“But the squad is the same 15 that started last week.

“There was no real reason to change and I think they will all be better for that 90 minutes of hockey — they were all blowing pretty hard last week.

“We’ll be looking for a better defensive effort — we were a little slack against United but were able to get away with it.”