Surbiton not making up championship play-off numbers
Head coach Todd Williams insisted his men are not heading to the MHL Premier Division championship play-offs this weekend to make up the numbers – they are in it to win it.
The Sugden Road side finished the regular campaign in the fourth and final qualifying spot after a 6-5 defeat to Saturday’s semi-final opponents East Grinstead last month.
Surbition, who have scored 35 goals in their past seven league encounters, crashed 5-1 to Beeston in last year’s final, having beaten Canterbury 5-3 in the semis.
That was the first time the club had reached the final of the showpiece event and Williams reckoned the bitter experience would only help them.
“When we got through the semi-final there was a tremendous out-pouring of relief in the changing room,” he said.
“It was a monkey off our backs and I think we were not as focused on the final as we might have been.
“Everyone goes on about qualifying for Europe as the priority, but for me it is about winning the championship. Everything else takes care of itself if we do that.”
Surbiton will have the Premier Division’s leading marksman Matt Daly in their ranks when they face the league winners on Saturday looking for a place in Sunday’s final.
And, while Williams is happy his men will pose an attacking threat, he knows his side must tighten up at the back to prevail.
“Hopefully, we will have learned from the last time we played them,” he said.
“We are happy with our scoring potential, but we cannot simply rely on scoring more than them.”