HENWOOD Park first grade men’s soccer team are reaping the rewards of cohesion, rising to third position after another win on Sunday.
The team has reached a “sweet spot” according to Hawks veteran player Ryan Smith.
“We’re playing unselfish footy, stringing passes together, keeping possession and executing,” Smith said.
Henwood Park lead the Pascoe Cup goal scoring tally, having scored 52 goals from 11 games ahead of Young by nine.
Lead goal scorer Jake Ploenges bagged seven goals on Sunday in the team’s 13-0 victory over Tumut.
“He just loves Tumut; he scored 10 against them in round two,” Smith said.
Coach Kyle Doswell enjoyed watching the build-up.
“We weren’t just banging away,” he said.
In spite of good form, players are wary that it’s a short fall from grace in the most evenly-matched first grade competition for a decade.
“I haven’t seen a competition this good since Cootamundra won a premiership,” Smith said.
“Eight other teams can knock you off.”
Doswell’s most wary of Wagga United, “they’re the team to beat,” he said.
Next Sunday all going to plan Hawks defender Jakob Kostenbauer will play again, having recovered from an ankle injury.
“He adds a lot of speed to our back line; he’s really switched on,” Doswell said.
As Henwood Park’s injured players recover and return to play, their opponents Lake Albert won’t have the same luxury.
Lake Albert coach Anthony Gardiner confirmed there are 10 players out across both first and reserve grade squads. He has been forced to use third grade and under 16s players.
The player shortage damaged their efforts on Sunday; losing 4-3 to Cootamundra.
The Hawks lost to Lake Albert 3-2 earlier in the season, and Doswell’s keen to settle the grudge.
“We’ll do exactly what we did last time, we outplayed them but it was just one of those games,” Doswell said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.