Injury has forced two changes to the Ballarat Eureka Strikers squad selected to face Melbourne Knights on Sunday, with Nat Barbara (hamstring) and Lisie Dodds (knee) both ruled out. Barbara had been withdrawn at the 20 minute mark last Sunday, while Lisie Dodds did not play the second half.
Coach Laura Brady commented that while losing both the left and right midfielder from last week’s win was disappointing the squad had plenty of the depth in this area, and it provides a terrific opportunity for another player to step up. “We know that if we can get players in these two positions to be attacking and proactive it makes a massive difference, this has been a focus of training this week.” The injuries mean that Vanessa Yung and Claire Demuth both return to the Senior squad for this weekend. While Yung will definitely fill in at Left Midfield, the solution on the right hand side could either be a straight swap with Demuth or switching Lily McLean to right midfield. ‘We will wait until Sunday to make the final decision, depending on the size and condition of the pitch.’
While the Eureka Strikers were impressive in their 6-2 victory last week there is still some room for improvement; in particular, they will look to improve the efficiency of their possession. ‘While we are very good at applying pressure and winning the ball back, we can become even better if we can make better decision when in possession.’
The match will be Erin Plucke’s 50th appearance for the club. “It is unbelievable to think that a 16 year old could be making their 50th appearance for the team, but it is indicative of the journey we have been on over the past 3 years.”