In any given year, Sassie Economos is one of the busiest athletes in Goulburn.
Along with her numerous representative hockey commitments, the Goulburn resident has also been selected in the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs lineup for the last two years, which competes in the NSW Women's Premiership, and was named in the Sydney Roosters' 2020 NRLW squad.
However, due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, Economos has elected not to play hockey in 2020 and will instead focus on her rugby league aspirations.
The decision was not an easy one, but Economos explained that her schedule had become too complicated to juggle both.
"I originally was training hockey, but when COVID hit and all the competitions got condensed, I just decided not to play this year," she said.
"It was becoming too much, so I figured this year I'll focus on rugby league and see what happens next year and go from there. I might jump back into hockey next year."
While the return to competitive football has been hectic for Economos, she has welcomed the return to playing after the lockdown.
"It's really good to be back," she said.
"When we shut down, I think everyone was going stir-crazy and missing playing and training a fair bit.
"When it came back, everyone was very excited. It was good to reunite and get back to training again and have sport back in our lives. For a lot of us, it's one of the main things we like to do."
Along with her desire to see the Bulldogs excel, Economos said one of her personal goals was to play in the NRLW. While she is already in the Roosters squad, she knows strong performances for Canterbury-Bankstown will bolster her case for selection.
After a brief three-week preseason, the Women's Premiership got underway on July 18, although things did not go according to plan for the Bulldogs in the first round.
Due to the coronavirus, a number of sides dropped out of the competition, and Canterbury-Bankstown accepted several players who had found themselves without a team.
Up against the reigning premiers in round one, the Bulldogs struggled to gel and fell to a 22-0 defeat.
However, their form picked up in rounds two and three, which saw consecutive wins over Wentworthville and the North Sydney Bears.
"[In round two] it just clicked together a bit more," Economos, who is also captaining the Bulldogs, said.
"We had a full-strength team and it just flowed a lot better, it was a lot more connected and our defence was really good."
With only seven teams in the 2020 competition, and the top five teams to go through to finals, the Bulldogs can be fairly confident of a finals berth.
But Economos knows there is no room for complacency, and said the team is aiming for top spot.
"Everyone's goals are to make finals, and that's still our main goal," she said.
"Hopefully if we win a couple more games, we'll cement a spot in the top five. But it would be good to finish as high as we possibly could to give ourselves the best chance to keep playing."
This Saturday, August 8, the Bulldogs take on the Wests Tigers from 12pm. They are currently third on the ladder, while the Tigers are fifth, and with three rounds remaining, every point is crucial.
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