David Goodchild insists Team Northumbria will have to be at their very best in order to dispatch big guns Sheffield and Polonia in this weekend’s mouthwatering National Cup semi-final ties.
TN’s men travel to South Yorkshire to face the only team to have beaten them this season.
And the women host Polonia on the back of a regulation Super 8s win against Birmingham.
“Sheffield are a very talented team who have already beaten the men this season,” said Goodchild. “We know we face the toughest of tests down there.
“And it’s no different for the women. They lost against Polonia earlier in the season and know they’ll be up against it.
“On the other side of the coin both Sheffield and Polonia will go into the weekend knowing that they have it all to do.
“Both games will be highly competitive but if we play to the best of our abilities we can make both finals.
“We will do everything we need to do in terms of preparation this week. We’ll be ready to give it our best shot.”
TN women cruised past sixth-placed Birmingham 25-5, 25-13, 25-22 to edge one step closer to the Super 8s title.
Goodchild was able to rotate his squad and begin the preparations for Polonia in advance.
“We tried some things that we’re looking to roll out in the semi-final and a lot of the players got valuable court time,” added TN’s playcaller.
“We were expected to win but we went about our business professionally and made the most of the three sets.”
Goodchild is hoping for positive news on the injury front this week with Leah Best and skipper Jurja Vlasic both facing late fitness tests ahead of Sunday’s Polonia clash.
Andy Clayton is also hoping to make a comeback in the men’s semi-final and Goodchild added: “I’d like to go into both games at full strength.
“Leah, Jurja and Andy have missed the last few games and it would be great to get them back for the semis.
“It’s a case of wait and see for all three.”
TN’s women host Polonia from 11.45am on Sunday at Sport Central. Entry is free.