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Haringey Huskies vs Lee Valley Lions: Lions coach Alley wants to take emotions out of derby

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 September 2017

Lee Valley Lions huddle on the bench (Pic: Phil Hutchinson)

Lee Valley Lions huddle on the bench (Pic: Phil Hutchinson)

Archant

Lee Valley Lions coach George Alley wants his side to take the emotions out of their opening match against rivals Haringey Huskies.

Alley and his men travel across the capital to take on the newly-formed Alexandra Palace-based outfit to kick-start their NIHL Two campaign on Saturday.

“If we take out the emotion of it being a derby and go to work from the off we can pull this out of the bag,” he said.

“If everyone’s emotions are in check then it shouldn’t matter who we’re playing.

“Whilst that sounds very idealistic I know it’s a key factor in us progressing this year.

“I think as long as we don’t get overawed or over confident depending on our opponents then we can take anyone.”

The coach admits he doesn’t fully know what to expect from their rivals, but knows they’ll be up for the game.

“To be honest I don’t know what to expect,” Alley admitted.

“They’ve announced some good players and will have all the excitement of playing their first game at home to get them riled up.”

He also pin pointed Haringey’s strengths and knows they’ll have to shut them down to come away with two points this weekend.

“They’ll rely heavily on Stuart Appleby and Stephen Woodford for points this season but they’ve got three solid, experienced lines who provide different options for them.

“Having Wridey (David Wride) in goal gives them the experience they need to keep them in touching distance of stronger teams.”

The Lions have maintained majority of their roster while adding a few new faces like Matt Brown, Brett Shepherd and Robyn Maby in the summer and Alley believes his squad can be a handful.

“At full strength I think we’re a handful for any of our opponents.

“I’ll always keep an eye out for new players as the season goes on though.

“We can’t turn down opportunities to create competition within the squad and make the team stronger.”

The former London Raiders goalie knows his side will have to work hard and wants them to just play their game.

“I want there to be as few distractions as possible, but it’s down to the players to make things happen now.

“I can only give them a plan to follow but it’s their prerogative to ensure we make our own dent on the league.”

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