Coach has two sides in semis: one favourites, one outsiders
HOCKEY: Lisa Morgan is coaching two teams at opposite ends of the odds in this weekend's CQ League semi-finals.
Southern Suburbs women, the minor premiers, are firm favourites to beat Park Avenue Brothers, while the Frenchville Rovers men are rank outsiders against the powerhouse Wanderers outfit.
In the other semi-finals, Wanderers play Meteors in the women and Southern Suburbs play Meteors in the men.
The winner from each game advances to next weekend's grand finals to be played at Gladstone's Rigby Park.
Morgan is confident of Souths' chances in the women and said the team had prepared well this week.
"We've been focused on making sure that our attacking work in the circle is a lot cleaner,” she said.
"The last time we played Parks, even though we had all the attack, the scoreline was only 1-nil.
"We will definitely have to be on our game and I'm expecting it will be a tight one.”
Morgan said Souths' speed of play was one of its strengths and they would be looking to strike early on Saturday.
"When we've scored an early goal, we've gone on to win games,” she said.
"The longer we leave them in the game, the more pressure we put on ourselves and the girls try to force the issue.
"We'll be looking to put on a quick goal, then settle down and continue on with it.”
Morgan said key figures for Souths would be captain and midfielder Andrea Farrow, striker Megan Brighton and defender Kylie Scott.
They would also welcome back Jacinta Johns, who won silver with the Australian over-35 women's team at the Masters World Cup in Spain.
Meanwhile, Frenchville men will be without one of their best this weekend, with star midfielder Jarrod Bass sidelined after having his wisdom teeth removed.
Morgan said his absence would force a positional reshuffle, with Harlie Harrison moving into the midfield and Brodie Bunn stepping into the central defender position.
Wanderers are expected to be without a number of their key players, too, but they demonstrated their depth when they ran out 10-nil winners against Sparks last week without seven of their regulars.
Morgan is under no illusion about the mammoth task facing Frenchville on Saturday.
"We're certainly underdogs and we'll acknowledge it will be a surprise if we can force the issue against Wanderers, because they've just been the standout team,” she said.
"We've got to try to hold them out for as long as we can.
"If we can keep them scoreless for the first 15 minutes it will allow us to get into the game and start to put some pressure on from there.
"The squad's certainly improved and we'll be going out with the intention of winning, but we'll have to play our very best to get close to Wanderers.”
CQ League semis on Saturday at Kalka Shades
- 2.25pm: Women, Wanderers v Meteors
- 3.50pm: Men, Southern Suburbs v Meteors
- 5.15pm: Women, Southern Suburbs v Park Avenue Brothers
- 6.40pm: Men, Wanderers v Frenchville Rovers