THREAT: The Illawarra Stingrays will be wary of Ellie Carpenter when they play the Football NSW Institute this weekend. Picture: GETTY IMAGESWITH a tough stretch closing in, Stingrays coach Earle Canvin has stressed the importance of picking up points over the next fortnight to his high-flying team.
Despite going unbeaten through the opening four rounds of the campaign, Canvin is wary of what’s on the horizon for the fourth-placedRays.
They’ll meet Football NSW Institute and the last-placed Emerging Jets in the next two weeks before playing all three of the competition’s other top-four clubs in a difficult three week stretch.
“Looking at this week and the following week, they are both games that we really want to pick up points in,” Canvin said.
“If we can, that will leave us in good stead going into a three tough games after that.”
The first of their important fixtures comes against the Institute at JJ Kelly Park on Sunday.The youthful opponentsare led by Matildas young gun Ellie Carpenter, who played in Australia’s Rio 2016 qualifying campaign.
Illawarra will also welcome back their own Matildas stars for the match as they look to continue their strong start which has seen them earn two wins and two to begin the campaign.
If they can emulate that form, Canvin believes his side will be tough to beat on Sunday.
“I will back the way we play nine times out of 10 if we can maintain it,” he said.
“The football we have been playing so far this season has been good and the girls seem to enjoy playing it.
“It’s based on an aggressive game in the forward third where we are continually asking questions.We want to continue that this weekend.”
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