Their training has been interrupted by State Cup fixtures and they’re learning game plans on the run. Yet Seaforth women’s Premier League team, which hasn’t lost a game in six rounds and sits outright 3rd on the MWFA ladder, will be doing “whatever it takes” against Pittwater RSL at Kitchener Park on Sunday.
“The players’ willingness to adapt to formations, tactics, to win games on the run has been very impressive,” Seaforth coach Chris Wood said. “They’re all buying in. You can’t always play the same way. You can see teams, they may not want to defend for 90 minutes then wait for a chance at a set piece.
“But our girls will do whatever it takes to win. If that means changing things up we will.”
Equally impressive is the fact the team is learning on the run, in real time, according to Wood.
“We’ve been playing State Cup and making up games on Wednesdays. The girls don’t mind – they’d prefer to be playing anyway. But in terms of tactical changes and game plans, we’re implementing them during games rather than discussing them first on the training paddock.
“You probably learn more from playing games but unless you’re executing at training it can be hard to understand,” Wood said.
Something’s working. They’re into the State Cup round of 16 and had a 1-1 draw with Wakehurst on Wednesday. The week before they beat league favourites Manly-Allambie.
Striker Julia Murphy scored five goals in a recent 7-2 rout of Belrose-Terrey Hills Raiders. Wood said Murphy is in “red hot form”.
“She’s a top player. And our goalkeeper Zoe Gomez made some big time saves. She adds a lot of confidence to our backline. And around these guys everyone’s been performing really well,” Wood said.
Outside of Murphy’s five goal haul, Wood said his team is sharing goals across their forward lines. “We tend to get goals all over the field. All four of our forwards are scoring and we’re looking good. Hopefully we can continue to put pressure on the leaders [Wakehurst and Manly Allambie who sit two- and one-point clear on the MWFA ladder respectively],” Wood said.
And his game plan against Pittwater RSL? Wood remained cagey.
“I tend to stay pretty coy really, I don’t like to tell people what’s going on,” he smiled. “But it chops and changes depending what players we have available. As I said we haven’t had much of a chance to chat at training recently so we’ll see how we go against Pittwater.
“We played them in the Cup but things will have changed since then and we won’t know what to expect. They haven’t had amazing results but we know it’s not going to be an easy game for us,” Wood said.
In other games Wakehurst plays Mosman, Belrose-Terrey Hills Raiders take on Manly Allambie and Brookvale hosts Beacon Hill. Manly Vale enjoy the bye.
By Matt Cleary