TAMWORTH will field a talented but somewhat raw side at this weekend’s State U18 Championships which get underway in Narellan today.
Raw for 18s at least. Only two of the side are 18 and there’s a number of U15s.
“It’s a competitive side,” coach Greg Doolan said.
“We may surprise ourselves.”
Doolan is hopeful of making the semi-finals but it is going to be tough.
“This age group is pretty strong across the state,” he said.
He knows the talent out there, having coached the State side last year and been involved as a selector for this year’s side.
They’ve been drawn in a pool with Parramatta, Sydney North (1), Bathurst and South Coast.
South Coast has been promoted from Division 2 last year but will be “very strong”.
They had a handful of girls in the NSW side.
Doolan said Tamworth would be strong in the midfield, with the likes of Dana Constable, Brittany King, Alice Arnott, Abigail Doolan, Em Chaffey and Katrina Rekunouw there.
They’ve all played for NSW sides this year or in the past.
“We’ve also got some strikepower,” Doolan said.
“Defence is the area we need to be aware of and try to stiffen up.”
They are a bit untested there at this level.
“I have no doubts if we can defend well we can score goals,” Doolan said.
King and Rekunouw along with Tessa Pennefather will be backing up from playing at the State CHS Championships this week.
There’s another couple in the twos, which will contest Division 3.
Graham D’Ambros is coaching them and has high hopes.
“If we make the semis I’ll be happy,” he said.
“We should give it a good shake.”
He feels he’s got a side capable of making the finals, even if it is also a young side.
They’ve got four U15s. The rest are either 16 or 17.
He said he would be looking to the likes of Steph Fulwood, Megan Murphy, Prue Davis and Isabelle Ambrose to shine.
“In the middle we’ll be good, and in defence,” he said.
The biggest challenge will be playing on sand, which the girls aren’t used to.
New England also has a side competing. It’s in Division 2 and is ranked second in its pool.