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Cobras coil for national title strike - The Canberra Times
Sunday, 08 January 2012 15:30
futsalwireThe Canberra TimesBY DANE KEENES, FUTSAL The ACT Cobras men and women sides have the same goal coming into the futsal national championships - to be crowned champions. Both teams have a proud history in the 33 years of national competition and have won multiple titles, ...

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 BY DANE KEENES, FUTSAL 09 Jan, 2012 04:00 AM The ACT Cobras men and women sides have the same goal coming into the futsal national championships - to be crowned champions.Both teams have a proud history in the 33 years of national competition and have won multiple titles, however neither has added to this tally in recent times.The men have not won a title since 2008 and the women have lost the past two finals.There could be no better opportunity for both teams to end their championship droughts, with the nation's capital hosting this year's instalment beginning today.''It definitely makes it easier to get a full strength team together when we are playing at home,'' Cobras men's coach Scott Conlan said.''There are no real disruptions to normal life so we'll be looking to take full advantage of that.

We are always aiming to get into that last game and while we haven't won a final in some time, this could be the year that changes that.''Conlan, a former Cobras player himself, was adamant that his side was capable of challenging defending champion NSW Thunder and every other team it lined up against.''Obviously NSW Thunder are the main threat, as they've always been in recent years,'' he said.

''Victoria brought a strong team last year and are a bit of a darkhorse too.''''But other than a few little niggles before Christmas our preparation has been really good.''We've got a couple of new players including Jason O'Dwyer, who comes in from the Colts, along with the experience of players such as George Cattanach, so we'll be ready.''The Cobras women have had their share of trouble with NSW Thunder in recent times, losing 1-0 to it in last year's final.''I think the girls are all pretty keen to go that one step further this year,'' Cobras women's coach Kristian Collins said.

''There's about eight girls that were a part of that final loss last year still in the side so there is definitely excitement and a lot of confidence amongst the group.''Collins was Cobras youth women coach last year and hoped to bring a tighter style of play to his new side.''For us it's all about defence, the focus has been how we are going to defend and then turn our defensive efforts into scoring opportunities.'' There are 24 teams from the ACT competing in this year's championships, including the ACT Colts which also field sides in the open men and women divisions.

TODAYFutsal national championships, round one Open men: ACT Cobras v Tasmania, 5:30pm.ACT Colts v Southern NSW, 6:20pm.

Open women: ACT Cobras v NSW Lightning, 8pm.

ACT Colts v Southern NSW, 8:50pm.

All games at AIS Main Arena.