Raiders high on confidence ahead of Seaforth challenge

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Andy Saunders is upbeat. Despite losing the Challenge Cup final on Wednesday night 4-0 to the one of the best teams in the competition, the coach of BTH Raiders women’s Premier League team took plenty from the match.

“This team, the confidence is really starting to build. We’re a brand new team. And every week we’re getting a bit better, a bit more confident. The final against Manly Allambie was great for the girls. We obviously didn’t get the result. But everyone was fine after the game. In a really good spot. We know we’re on the improve. That breeds confidence.

“We’ll have a better idea of where we’re at after a full round and everyone’s played each other. But confidence is building,” Saunders said.

BTH Raiders sit second-last on the women’s Premier League ladder and face fourth-placed Seaforth on Sunday at Wyatt Reserve. Standout players in recent games have included Izzy Keech, Sam Freeman, Chloe Higgins and Somerset Littleboy.

For Saunders, though, “it’s more about the team than individuals”.

“We’re always pushing for a team effort, that’s the most important thing,” he said. “With the ball we like to hold onto it, control the game, play a passing style of football. But it’s often about who we are playing. Some teams will let you do it, some teams won’t.”

Will Seaforth let them? Saunders chuckled when he said: “I’m not entirely sure. We’ll setup to give ourselves the best chance of playing our natural game and then as the game progresses, we’ll adjust if we have to.”

Saunders then laughed and apologised in advance for the cliché.

“We’re taking each game as it comes,” he said.

In other games Pittwater RSL take on Brookvale at Kitchener Park, Manly Vale hosts Beacon Hill at David Thomas Reserve and Challenge Cup champions Manly Allambie return to Millers reserve to play Mosman. Table-toppers Wakehurst will enjoy the bye.

By Matt Cleary

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