20 May 2010

West Coast Fever v NSW Swifts
6:05pm, Monday 24 May (local time)
Challenge Stadium, Perth, WA
Round 10, ANZ Championship

They may be sitting on top of the ladder, but the NSW Swifts know they will need to up the ante when they take on the West Coast Fever in Perth on Monday night in round ten of the ANZ Championship.

The next two rounds are critical for the NSW Swifts, who find themselves embarking on two grueling road trips to Perth and Auckland in the space of a week with only two days at home in between. It`s a schedule that NSW Swifts coach Julie Fitzgerald believes will test the team not just physically but also mentally.

`We`ve been working very closely with our medical team and our strength and conditioning trainer to work out what is the best way to handle that week. We`ve already had discussions about it but obviously how they pull up after each game will affect this as well,` Fitzgerald said.

The first stop on their road trip will be Perth, where the West Coast Fever will be fresh from the bye and high on confidence following their victory over the reigning premiers, the Melbourne Vixens in round eight. Head-to-head the NSW Swifts have the slight advantage having taken the points in three of their five outings, including their most recent tussle in round five in Newcastle where the Swifts won by 12 goals.

`I thought the Fever played really well against the Vixens. I thought they grew across the match and they really hung in there with a lot of determination. It was a very deserved victory; they played very well,` Fitzgerald said.

`I think that they are going to be a real danger. They will be relishing the fact that they get to play one of the top teams on their home court and they`ll be looking forward to the challenge.`

Whilst they are yet to drop a match in 2010, Fitzgerald is adamant there is still improvement left in her team.

`I`m really pleased with the team`s attitude and focus because we’re doing a good job of only concentrating on the immediate task at hand. We`re not looking too far ahead and we`re trying not to get involved in anything that`s going on on the ladder or with other teams.` Fitzgerald said.

`It`s pretty exciting when eight games in you can say that each week you think we`re doing some things a little bit better than the week before. If we can continue to improve that way then hopefully our good fortune will continue.`

ONE Broadcast of the match (delayed)
ONE - West Coast Fever v NSW Swifts - 8:30pm (AEST), Monday 24 May

Round Ten (all local times)
Haier Pulse v Mercury Energy Tactix - Saturday 22 May, 2:20pm (NZ)
Adelaide Thunderbirds v QLD Firebirds - Sunday 23 May, 2:20pm (SA)
Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel v WBOP Magic - Monday 24 May, 7:20pm (NZ)
West Coast Fever v NSW Swifts - Monday 24 May, 6:05pm (WA)
BYE - Melbourne Vixens, LG Mystics

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