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Dalefield to focus on basics

Look after the basics, and the result will come.

That’s the message from Farriers Dalefield assistant coach Benedict van Woerkom heading into today’s encounter with the struggling Northern United at the National Hockey Stadium.

An understrength Dalefield disappointed in their 5-3 loss to Hutt United last weekend, although several key players were missing. Most are back for this afternoon, except Alex Sumenko-Bucknell [injury], Zac Hardie [illness], Cody Linton [away], and van Woerkom and player-coach Dane Lett are demanding a better result than last Saturday’s stuttering effort.

“It sounds simple, but with that, it’s the guys’ individual performance and accountability, and a bit of ownership on themselves getting what they need out of training during the week and asking questions of Dane and myself on our game plans and structures if they aren’t sure,” van Woerkom said.

“Hopefully, that translates to better individual performances, it’s been the focus at training, and the return of some quality players should raise that level.”

Van Woerkom added that it’s vital not to drop their standards against the battling Northern United, who have lost all four games and have scored only one goal while conceding 19.

“I haven’t seen a lot of them, but based on results and what I have seen of them, they’re not going to be sharp and will likely park the bus and play 11-man defence, so we just need to be patient and still execute at a high level and the result and hopefully bonus points [for winning by five or goals] should come.”

A bonus point win could lift Dalefield to second in the standings, depending on the outcome of the clash between the leading two teams, Hutt United and Harbour City.

This afternoon’s game is the last before the start of the new Intercity competition, also featuring teams from Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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