After three years at the helm of Footscray, coach Lachlan Anderson has a good gauge on his team’s standing within the Hockey Victoria women’s premier league.
Anderson went into the new season with a host of reasons for optimism but no one truly knows how they will stack up until they bang sticks with the opposition in April.
The Bulldogs were ferocious in their season opener, ripping apart Waverley 7-1 in a stunning opening round performance at the Footscray Hockey Centre on Saturday.
“I’ve got a pretty good grasp of the competition – who’s in and who’s out and who’s where,” Anderson said.
“I was reasonably bullish about how we’ve improved, where we’re at and how our list looked.
“Waverley are a seasoned, strong, physical and tough team but we managed to do a pretty solid job on them … kept them out and didn’t give them the chances they’re used to getting.”
The bulldogs did not have it all their own way. They had to stave off a number of quality early Waverley chances to hold on to a 1-0 lead at the break but first-game goalkeeper Caroline Lee was up to the task.
“There were two or three chances they could’ve finished off against a lesser goalkeeper and put us under the pump on the scoreboard,” Anderson said. “She did a great job.
“It was a real collective effort, a good defensive structure – everyone was organised.
“Voting for players after the game was one of the toughest days I’ve had in two and a half years involved with the group because there were so many people who did their job.”
It was Tegan Purser who provided the most pain for the visitors, scoring with a hat-trick.
Purser was the Bulldogs’ leading goalscorer last season and shows no signs of slowing down in the new campaign.
“She scored three goals off a pretty limited preparation,” Anderson said.
“She’s in a much better position than she was last year with regards to injuries.”
Olivia Colasurdo fired in two goals to play her part in a six-goal second half.
Georgia Cutrale and new recruit Tara Hill also found the back of the net.
Cutrale is hoping her fine start to the season is the beginning of an extended stay in the top side.
“She’s a girl that’s trying to forge her way into that group,” Anderson said.
“Over the last year and a half she’s been in and out of the ones and the twos.
“The goal for her will be a good confidence booster.”
Footscray will take on Doncaster away in the second round at Doncaster Regional Hockey Centre on Saturday.
Altona also made a flying start to the new season, beating Mentone 3-1 at Altona.
In men’s premier league, Footscray was narrowly beaten 2-1 by Waverley in its season opener at home on Saturday, while Altona suffered a disappointing 5-1 loss to Powerhouse-St Kilda.
– See more at: http://www.starweekly.com.au/sports/footscray-comes-out-breathing-fire/#sthash.c3er2Guf.dpuf
April 6, 2016 3:00 pm
by Lance Jenkinson