Illawarra Stingrays keen to take on Sydney uni


WOMAN'S PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL

It's been 29 days since they last took to the pitch, but Illawarra coach Graham Shaw isn't expecting his side to have lost any of the confidence that saw the Stingrays rocket out of the blocks in 2014.

The Rays claimed the Preseason Cup and convincingly won their opening two regular season matches against Marconi Stallions and Football NSW Institute, before rain forced their next three games to be abandoned.

They'll finally continue their season on Sunday at JJ Kelly Park against Sydney University and Shaw is adamant they can continue where they left off.

"I think the confidence is still there knowing that we have a bit of silverware behind us," Shaw said.

"A few of the younger girls - and girls who have stepped up from reserve grade - get that confidence that they know they are good enough to be playing at this level."

The Stingrays beat University 3-1 in the pre-season decider.

While pre-competition form can be hard to judge, the match gave Illawarra some valuable insight into the Sunday's visitors.

"They are quite a good unit. Well drilled with some really good players in their squad," Shaw said.

"It will be a tough game coming off this break but I don't think there is anyone in this league you would want to be playing coming off this sort of break.

"We know they have strong wingers, so we will have to be on our ball to keep them out of the game."

The match will be the beginning of a hectic few weeks for the Stingrays, who are set to juggle midweek and double-header weekend games into their schedule.

"It is a case of making sure we have the best players available and that we are at our best going into these games," Shaw said.

"We don't want to push in any training sessions knowing we have midweek games, tiring the girls out.

"It is going to be a period of playing a few double-headers over the next few weeks, so it is about getting through those games and getting some points and see if we can get ourselves back up that table a little bit with the games in hand."

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