Werribee Tigers yearn for premiership

Mat Skoglund Werribee
Werribee’s Mat Skoglund tracks the ball in flight on Saturday. Photo: Damjan Janevski

Two decades have passed since Werribee’s top men’s hockey team last won a premiership.

That’s far too long for a proud club and the players have vowed to band together to try to break the drought.

“They want that as much as the club wants and needs some success,” Tigers coach Andrew Purcell told Star Weekly.

“It’s a real driver in the back of the guys’ minds.”

The Tigers have made a promising start in the return matches in Hockey Victoria men’s Vic League 2.

They beat finals contenders Monash University and backed that up with a 3-1 win over unpredictable Knox at President’s Park on Saturday after goals to Luke Simpson and Sam Huxtable in open play and Kristian Noonan from the short corner.

“We’re two games into the return legs and wins against sides clipping at our heels in Monash and Knox – you never know what they’re going to dish up – we’re pretty happy with those results,” Purcell said.

The good form comes on the back of the players’ willingness to devote to the cause, according to Purcell.

A number of the players are putting in extra training sessions to fine-tune their games.

“We’ve been doing a couple of extra training sessions on Monday nights when we’ve been practising some of our short corner set plays because they’re pretty vital in hockey these days,” Purcell said.

“It shows all the boys are pretty keen and committed to finishing off the year well.

“They’re really starting to gel and understand what we’re trying to achieve as a group and understand the game plan.”

The Tigers kept hold of third spot after their comfortable win over Knox.

They are level on points with second-placed WestVic with the two sides meeting in a crucial encounter in Ballarat on Saturday.

The winner will end the day in outright second.

“We’re equal points but they have us on goal difference at the moment,” Purcell said.

“We’re viewing this game as one we need to win.

“It’s definitely a game we’ve targeted in the second half of the year.”

Tigers scoring leaders

Sam Huxtable 10

Josh Pace 6

Jayden Street 4

Luke Simpson 2