Though there is no certainty of a finals series proceeding at this point, the Goulburn Geckos men's team will stay ready nonetheless.
Fittingly, should the finals go ahead as planned, Goulburn's first opponent will be long-time rivals, Wests.
As the dominant team in the Hockey ACT Capital League competition over the last few years, Wests have gotten the better of the Geckos in the majority of their meetings.
However, their matches are consistently close, and Goulburn co-coach, Scott Grant, believes his side can upset the top-ranked team when the time comes.
"They're the pinnacle at the moment," Grant said.
"They've been probably the top team in Canberra for the last three or four years and are going for two premierships in a row. But like I've said to the boys, we know what we've got to do now.
"We've just got to turn up with the right attitude. There's no better team to play than the best team in the comp, and to run fourth and to knock them out will put the icing on the cake."
This year's finals series has been shortened from the usual three weeks to two, meaning there will be a round of semi-finals to be followed the week after by the grand final.
Goulburn, the fourth-ranked side, will take on Wests, who are first, while Central (second) and United (third) will play off for the other spot in the grand final.
This opportunity is extremely gratifying for Grant and his fellow coaching staff, particularly after a difficult start to the year in which the Geckos were unsure if they would even field a team.
Since then, Goulburn's very young and inexperienced squad has grown in both skill and confidence throughout the year, and Grant has been very pleased with the development he's seen.
"We've seen a lot of growth, especially within the young fellas," he said.
"They're playing with confidence now. They know that they can do it, and once we got a few wins and some belief in the team, the more the year went on, the better we got.
"We probably only played two or three games all season with our full-strength team, so it was very pleasing."
Hockey ACT has said it will aim to complete its competitions by October 10. Though the statewide lockdown in NSW ended today, the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA remains in lockdown due to active cases in the region, while Canberra's lockdown is scheduled to end on September 17.
During the lockdown, the Goulburn side has been unable to train as a team and forced to rely on the discipline of its players to stay fit individually.
The other challenge for Grant and his co-coaches, however, has also been trying to keep the team's spirits up.
"We've got a group chat with everyone on it, we try to touch base every week and keep everyone posted," he said.
"It is frustrating, this is what we train for all year and finals hockey is what we play for, and we can't get out there and do it.
"We don't know if we'll be able to do it, and it is frustrating, but at the end of the day there's a lot of people worse off than us. We've just got to be positive, we got to finals after we thought we might not have a team."
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