Singleton Strikers women's side, the Storm, making an impact in Newcastle-based Interdistrict All Age Friday night competition

ON THE BALL: Singleton Strikers women's team manager Tove Crosswell is guiding the Storm in 2020.
ON THE BALL: Singleton Strikers women's team manager Tove Crosswell is guiding the Storm in 2020.

THERE'S no doubt about it, Tove Crosswell loves her football.

It's that contagious passion, which is guiding the Singleton Strikers women's side, the Storm, to greater heights in 2020.

Despite a topsy-turvy start to the season, the Pure Essence-sponsored outfit sits in fourth spot on the Newcastle-based Interdistrict All Age Friday night competition ladder.

The Storm suffered an early 6-0 loss to the Cessnock City Hornets, bounced back to smash Edgeworth 9-0, dropped a hard-fought encounter to Garden Suburb 9-2 and responded with a 12-0 thrashing of the Mayfield Juniors, with a bye thrown in for good measure.

"I'm definitely happy with where we're placed," Crosswell said.

"It's quite a new squad for the club this year.

"And, we've got a number of juniors mixing it with the older members of the team.

"The Friday night format is only in its second season, however I'm quite impressed by how many women's sides there are within the Hunter Valley.

"Although, in 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed things around a bit.

"To me, this year's more about having some exercise - and fun.

"But, in saying that, the Storm girls are gaining more confidence with each hit-out.

"Everyone's bought in to the team camaraderie and it's starting to show on the field.

"They're good at listening to advice, which helps."

Crosswell admitted the competition would undergo a slight format modification in 2020, thanks to COVID-19.

"While we have a full season of fixtures, it'll be first past the post," she said.

"There are no play-offs this year.

"However, it's not too bad.

"Even though we only enjoyed two weeks of training before the opening round, I'm just so thrilled we're playing again.

"And, we've been strong in most matches.

"The 9-2 defeat at the hands of Garden Suburb wasn't a true reflection on how well we played.

"Now, the girls are really starting to gel.

"Our main goal [in 2020] is to beat Cessnock City.

"Although I do like to win, I'm equally keen to teach the players, especially the younger ones, to play football properly and improve their skills."

Next up, the Storm faces the Lochinvar Rovers FC at the Lochinvar Sporting Complex on Friday, August 7, from 7pm.

"We're hoping to play a good match against them," Crosswell said.

"But, we need to concentrate on our own game - and focus on our passing.

"Even though Cessnock City is probably Singleton's main rival, you never take any team lightly.

"At the end of the day, I just want the girls to enjoy themselves.

"I keep saying to them, with COVID-19 still around, you never know if it will be your last match.

"So, make the most of it while you can."