Albury-Wodonga Spitfires plan Viking ambush

THE Albury-Wodonga Spitfires will look to take another three points in the Capital League when they host Tuggeranong Vikings today.

It was only two games ago that the Hockey Albury Wodonga men recorded their first win of the season against the same opposition in Canberra.

Coach Matt Smart said better finishing could have seen the Spitfires at least double that 3-2 victory.

Smart said the Spitfires had again been hit by injuries, with captain Tony Donnelly, Jeremy Payne, Daniel Ciccone and Dugald Watson all ruled out.

Scott Anderson has replaced Scott Foley as keeper after the Spitfires gave up five goals from short corners last week.

“We’ll have the bare 16 available, but we have been here before this season,” Smart said.

“We still have the quality there but it just means the young blokes have to step up again.

“We missed chances in the last game and could have won more convincingly, but we can’t afford any complacency here — we need to play our game, let the ball do the work and eliminate any goals from short corners.

“If we can do that we should come away with the win.”

Meanwhile, the Strikers will face a “challenge” when they host the unbeaten Vikings in the women’s competition.

Strikers coach Tony Jones will welcome back Sadie Butler and Jade Versteegen for the clash, while Brooke Purtell is also expected to return.

“It is going to be a challenge, the opposition has been flying,” he said.

“Defensively it will be tough going and we will use our more senior and solid players at the back looking to limit the damage and then counter attack with some of the young girls.

“Sam Daley, Chloe Jones and Butler at the back have been solid all year and they will need to block it up and then look to release it early.

“It has been a while since we have had a win, and against this opposition we are under no illusion as to the task we have ahead.”