IT'S been a long season for some members of Town's division one women's hockey side and coach Janine Watts fears it could be taking a toll.
Town, the defending premiers and minor premiers, were out-of-sorts when outclassed by Sharks 2-0 in the major semi last week. Now they play the final on Saturday against Tacking Point Thunder.
Club games, representative commitments and school matches have added to some of the players' workload this year. NSW under 18 representative Lara Watts also plays in Newcastle and has probably chalked up 50 games.
The team's Taree High connection head to Sydney next week for the State Combined High School finals, where Taree will be shooting for a third consecutive championship win.
"Midway through the year if you'd asked me about the workload I would have said it wasn't a problem, - would have said 'bring it on,' '' Janine Watts said.
"But now I'm not so sure. I'll admit, I'm worried.''
Watts agreed the prospect of playing in the State finals and possibly winning a third consecutive championship is a further distraction for the Taree High representatives.
She said Town must improve right across the park from last week's performance.
"We have to get back to basics,'' she said.
"Structure - our structure was terrible against Sharks - communication. Everything really.''
Town should be at full strength for tomorrow with the return of Ali Allport and Tilley Hunter. Lara Watts was also troubled by a virus last week.
Adding to the drama was the doubt over Town's opponents for tomorrow. This wasn't determined until a ruling from the Port Macquarie Hastings association on Tuesday (see story page 17).
"That made it hard, not knowing who the girls were playing until later in the week,'' Watts said.
Town's beaten Thunder on each occasion this season, however, Watts said this will count for little when the game hits off tomorrow.