Benedict van Woerkom (left), key player for Dalefield. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
By Jake Beleski
Coach Willie Schaefer had called for improvements from his Dalefield men’s premier hockey side after a “disappointing” win on Saturday, and he got exactly that.
Frustrated with the effort of his players in their 3-2 win over Harbour City, Schaefer was much happier after they dismantled Victoria University 8-0 in a catch-up game in Wellington on Sunday night.
“It was a big improvement . . . we played much better which was pleasing.
“The guys were working a bit harder which makes a big difference.”
Schaefer said the effort had improved markedly on Sunday, and they also made the most of the opportunities they created.
“We just fixed up some of our little effort things.
“We pressed much better and executed our scoring chances better, so they were the good things.”
Four first half goals showed the lift in intensity and effort, but it was important they bring the same attitude to every match from now, Schaefer said.
He was reluctant to pick out individuals for praise, but said the team as a whole had played much better.
“Everyone did their part and played their role, and that’s what we’re aiming for in every game anyway.
“We’ve just got to make sure we’re doing that week in, week out.
“Consistency is a bit of an issue at the moment, but we’re getting the results so that’s still positive.”
After drawing their first three matches in the premier division, Dalefield have now won their last five.
This weekend they take on Hutt in a top-of-the-table clash, which also doubles as a must-win Conference Cup fixture.
If Dalefield can beat Hutt and then get another win against Mid Central in Sunday’s Conference Cup match, they will win the cup.
“It’s a big weekend for us . . . there’s two things on the line there in Saturday’s match.
“It’s pretty simple, if we win two games we win the Conference Cup . . . if we don’t get the chocolates in one of them, or both of them, then we don’t win it.”
A win against Hutt would also propel them to the top of the Wellington premier standings after nine matches, and put them in a great position in both competitions.
Schaefer said they were aware both games were “must-win” if they want to win the Conference Cup, and wants his side to keep improving from Sunday’s dominant performance.