Maties Hockey coach Ashlin Freddy believes that Tuks were the better side during their 5-0 Varsity Hockey loss to the Pretoria outfit in Stellenbosch on Monday.
Maties lost their first game in an otherwise unbeaten season when they were kept scoreless against an speedy and efficient Tuks side. Goals from Sam Mvimbi, Bradley Sherwood and Steven Paulo sunk Maties, while the Tuks’s defence led by captain Nduduzo Lembethe, centre-back Matt Davies and goal-keeper Estiaan Kriek kept their opposition from gaining momentum.
Freddy believes that Maties were bested by a better team on the night.
“We got outplayed really, I don’t think we showed up and I don’t think we gave our best effort. Having said that I think Tuks were really good and they dominated all aspects of the game.
“I don’t think there’s anything we could have done differently. I think we got outplayed on the night by a better team. Our prep went well, the guys were recovered, everything went well. We got outplayed on the night and didn’t put our best foot forward.”
When asked about his tactics to keep his side unbeaten right till the final, Freddy explained there was a lot of emphasis placed in keeping his players mentally strong.
“There wasn’t really a strategy. We’ve done a lot of work with a mental skills coach, so there’s a lot of trust in the team. It’s a positive that we have got the trust, belief and calmness in the group to play through the situation.”
Despite the loss, Freddy is delighted with resilience his charges showed to go seven games unbeaten this season and that they wouldn’t have changed their strategy going into the game.
“I’m extremely proud of the boys, final aside, we played some good stuff, not our best stuff considering what the group is capable of. Having seen the effort these guys have put in since last year October, I told them last night as well, nobody can really understand what they’ve done and what they have put in.
“Everything went well in the build-up, technically these guys are in supreme physical condition. Tactically they understood everything, technically we were very good. On the whole we wouldn’t change anything.”