Captain of the defense during the third round of the Sapphire Series, Ashleigh joins us to review the team’s performance on Saturday and gives an insight on what to expect ahead of round four.
PD: Ashleigh, how do you feel the team performed on Saturday?
AM: “From a defensive perspective, we were balling. Considering we have had two players drop out and had to train current players in different positions, Saturday went really well. We were playing more as a unit and trusting in each other’s ability, every player on the pitch did their job and everyone made game changing plays. We still got a few things to work on but that’s what training is for.
Offence as usual was on point. They moved the ball up the field, kept the tempo going and when things went wrong they brushed it off and made a bigger play.
All in all, the whole team played really well. Everyone was working together and having a laugh”.
PD: How was your experience captaining the defense?
AM: “It’s a little nerve wracking in all honesty. You don’t expect the pressure to get to you when leading the girls onto the field and making sure everyone knows the play that we were doing. But I can’t explain how proud I am of everyone. We all pulled together and were supporting each other and the atmosphere was amazing”.
PD: Is there anything the team needs to improve upon before round four?
AM: “Yes, considering the next round is the decider and we will all want to keep the lead we are going to have to train hard and keep up the tempo and play to win. We need to work on the small things. Offence will need to keep the plays clean and defence need to stop the plays going anywhere and continue to hit hard”.
PD: You will face Wembley Stallions for a third time in round four, what have you learnt from playing them previously?
AM: “Wembley are good competition. They are a very competitive and physical team. The dreadnoughts have also proved that they are the same. We will just have to bring that to the next match and play to win. Wembley also know what plays work well against us so we as a team need to improve these weaknesses and play like we did when we first played them and not give them anything”.
PD: Currently, the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts are top of the table, only one tournament away from winning the division. Can the Dreadnoughts go all the way?
AM: “I believe that the team has the ability to go all the way. Every single player brings something to the pitch. We will have to train hard and play hard. The team need to play to win and believe they can. Defence will need to up the tempo, keep the runs contained, hit hard and be physical. Offence need to keep calm and move the ball like we know they can. Over all everyone has to enjoy themselves no matter what happens and we can be proud at how far we have come as a rookie team”.