Strikers aim to deliver present

THE Albury-Wodonga Strikers will head to Canberra today looking to reverse a 2-1 loss earlier in the season and deliver an early wedding present to English defender Sadie Butler.

Butler along with several of her teammates will head overseas for the celebration after the game against University of Canberra.

Coach Tony Jones expects his side to lift.

“We gave them a shake early in the year but their recent results suggest they have improved,” he said.

“But our girls appear to have found a way to the net in the last few games, even without Nan Latta.

“Maddison Horsburgh in particular has really started to strike form at centre forward.

“It’s Sadie’s last game before getting married and we will miss her — the defenders have been terrific all year.”

Jones said the absence of Latta, playing in a Masters tournament in Darwin, robbed the Strikers of their chance to gauge their improvement.

“There is no doubt that some of our girls have improved in leaps and bounds this year,” he said.

“With Nan there, as she was in the first game, we would have been able to get a better handle on that improvement.”

Meanwhile, the Spitfires will also head to the national capital, playing for pride in a double header weekend.

Today they take on St Patricks, who sit just one spot above them on the ladder but with four more wins for the season.

The last time the pair met was on a double-header weekend at home where the Spitfires lost 3-1 on the Saturday before running out of legs in a 9-2 thumping the next day.

Tomorrow the Spitfires play another side above them in United.

“We are taking the bare 16,” coach Matt Smart said.

“With injuries and other commitments we will draw on our development group and Brandon Purtell will play his second game.

“If you play the full 70 minutes you are going to run 11 kilometres.

“That is a fair bit of running and that has probably shown in our performances in the second leg of these double headers.”