WEST LONDON VARSITY PREVIEW: Women's hockey team ready to bounce back
Sports Gazette spoke to St. Mary's women's hockey coach Phillip Williams ahead of their match against Brunel at West London Varsity on Wednesday 29th March.
Sports Gazette: What were the positives and negatives this season?
Phillip Williams: One of the positives this year has been how the girls have learnt how to play a system and stick to a game plan.
When they have done this they looked like a very strong team, which will always score goals.
A negative has been our consistency, we can go from beating top of the league one week, to losing to a lower level team the next.
SG: What are the team's strengths and weaknesses?
PW: The strength in our team is our forwards' ability to press the ball, something a lot of team struggle against. If we press well in games, we tend to score lots of goals.
SG: Who is your key-player, your defensive rock, and your topscorer?
PW: We have two stand out players. Because of the way we play, Shannon Lammiman’s role in the side is to run up and down the pitch for 70 minutes, which I know from playing that position myself is a hard task.
On top of her leg work, she is also known to score quite a few goals this year. She assists even more which is impressive from a right half who is technically a defender.
Shaz’s partner in crime on our right-hand side is Lucy Holder. She is our super-star player and has been our top goal-scorer this year.
She's a player who can produce moments of magic if it's required. The team always knows they stand a chance of getting a goal or two when she plays, so Brunel, watch out.Brunel have struggled in the league above us, and we are a much stronger team than last year. If we stick to our game plan I think we stand a chance of walking away with a win. ”
SG: How did last year's Varsity go? Are there things you will approach differently?
PW: My memory from Varsity last year is quite different to what I expect this year. Last year, I wasn’t their coach but I was asked to help run the side just for that game.
The team was dominating Brunel but failed to score, and unfortunately a moment of lapsed concentration from our keeper meant we lost 1-0.
This year I expect a great game of hockey. Brunel have struggled in the league above us, and we are a much stronger team than last year. If we stick to our game plan I think we stand a chance of walking away with a win.
SG: How important is beating Brunel?
PW: As a former student at St. Mary's, I understand the rivalry between the two teams. However we can’t go into the game being overly emotionally involved with the fixture. We must treat the game like any other and play the controlled attacking hockey that we have played all year.
SG: What's your score prediction?
PW: I think we shall win the game and I'd expect a high scoring game so 4-1 is my guess.
St. Mary's women's hockey will face Brunel at 4pm on the Multi-Use Pitch so make sure you head down to give them your full support!
If you can't make it, we'll be bringing Varsity to you with our live blog on the day! Check out the Sports Gazette for the latest on Varsity!