TAMWORTH’S two sides are hoping not to be frozen out of the finals mix at this weekend’s State U13 Girls’ Championships in Orange.
The weather predictions for the weekend are for cold conditions with the potential of snow.
Snow showers were predicted for their arrival yesterday afternoon and temperatures are anticipated to hover between 0-7 for the remainder of the weekend, possibly getting up to eight on Sunday.
The As will contest Division 1 while the Bs will be chasing the Division 3 silverware.
Both will be looking to go better than they did last year.
The Bs finished fourth while the As just missed out on the semi-finals.
Steve Littlejohns is coaching them and has six of last year’s side backing up.
“I think they’ll go reasonably well,” he said.
“There’s a fair bit of depth across the side.”
He felt if there was one area they are stronger it was the midfield, with State U13s rep Tayla King and Gabbi Hathway leading the charge there.
“Our strikers and defence are probably our two less experienced areas,” Littlejohns said.
He said their first goal would be to make the semis, which they are certainly capable of.
“If they play to their potential they should make the semis,” he said.
But it’s not going to be easy. They will have to finish in the top two in a pool containing Bathurst, Macarthur, Illawarra and Sydney.
Macarthur were finalists last year.
He also expects Bathurst to be strong.
They’ve got them first-up at 9am this morning so it will be important to start well.
A win could really set them up well or, likewise, really hurt their finals chances.
They follow with Sydney at 2pm.
Littlejohns said they hadn’t had a great preparation.
It’s been fairly short and the runs they have had they haven’t been able to get the full team together.
The talent is there though.
Lyn Bagster has the Bs and said she would be disappointed if they didn’t repeat their semi-final effort from last year.
That said, there is a real contrast of ages.
They’ve got three U11s and five players backing up from last year’s campaign.
“There’s a little bit of experience and bit of maturity there,” she said.
Last year they were all fairly green – she included.
She said they all showed a lot of heart and would be hoping for more of the same this
The forward line is relatively young but still “quite handy” and should get good support from the back.
“The girls who play defensively are all quite good and should be quite handy and capable,” Bagster said.
The big factor will be playing on grass.
“It’s a huge adjustment,” she said.
On all skills – trapping, hitting, dribbling.
They’ve tried to prepare by training on grass for the last three weeks.
They play Bathurst at 9am this morning followed by Wagga at 1pm, and Macarthur and Central Coast tomorrow.
New England also has two sides on the title trail, with the As playing in Division 2 and the Bs lining up in Division 4.