Two Taree Wildcats benched for buck's party

Brad Thompson starts an attacking raise for Taree in the clash against Macleay Valley at Omaru Park. The Wildcats meet Port FC on Saturday at Port Macquarie.

Brad Thompson starts an attacking raise for Taree in the clash against Macleay Valley at Omaru Park. The Wildcats meet Port FC on Saturday at Port Macquarie.

TWO players who missed last weekend's stirring 4-3 win over Macleay Valley will have to earn their places back in Taree's Football Mid North Coast Premier League starting XI.

Ricky Campbell will watch the kickoff of tomorrow's game against Port FC at Port Macquarie from the bench. Jackson Witts will play half a game in reserve grade before sitting by for firsts.

"They were out last week because they went to a buck's show in Sydney,'' coach Josh Ferris said.

"We've all been there and done that. But it's not a legitimate excuse, like work or injury.

"Port will probably wonder what's going on when they see Ricky on the bench. But none of the players from last week deserve to be dropped.

"I can't fault any of them, so Ricky and Jacko will have to work their way back in.''

There will be one forced change from the side that ran on against Macleay. Veteran Ben Sedlen has succumbed to a heal injury and could be sidelined up to a month. Rhys Christensen filled in capably for Sedlen and retains his spot up the back.

Christensen has made a comeback to football this season.

"I always thought he'd push for a first grade spot eventually but I thought it would take five or six games to get the rust out because he hasn't played for a couple of years,'' Ferris said.

However, he said Christensen was strong against the Rangers, despite the fact he played a full game in reserves.

The Wildcats will welcome up to seven players back across two grades tomorrow.

Ferris admits he was surprised to grab the maximum points against Macleay because of the players the club had out.

"I would have been happy to come away with a draw, so to get the three points was a real bonus,'' he said.

The Wildcats now have a draw and a win from the opening two games and sit in equal second place behind Port United - remarkably the only side in the competition to record two wins.

Ferris rates United as the team to beat for major honours.

Ferris concedes he knows little about tomorrow's opponents. A former powerhouse, Port FC struggled towards the end of last season after losing a host of players.

"They must be going okay,'' he said.

"They only just lost to Port United in the first round and they beat Port Saints 6-1. I've heard they're a young side but I don't know much more about them, so we'll just have to wait and see.''

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