THE opportunity to give players from the YD1s (under 17s and 18s) the opportunity to experience senior football has been one of the positives in Taree's otherwise disappointing Football Mid North Coast Premier League season.
In all probability the Wildcats will finish commitments after Saturday week's clash with Old Bar. Taree plays Kempsey Saints at home on Saturday.
"If we win both our games and Port Saints and Kempsey Saints lose both theirs then mathematically we can still make the five,'' coach Josh Ferris said.
"But I'm not counting on that happening.''
A lengthy list of injured players has stretched Taree's resources. Ferris has called on the YD1s to help bolster numbers in reserve grade while Zac Corbett has been given a run in first grade.
"It's been good experience for them and that's one thing about having a bit of a bad year. We've been able to give the YD1s a chance in seniors that they probably wouldn't get in a season when we're stronger,'' Ferris said.
It hasn't been the year we expected it hasn't been all doom and gloom.
While the first grade looks to be out of the running for a finals berth in firsts, the Wildcats will be involved in the reserve grade playoffs.
Ferris now wants his players to enjoy the last couple of games in first grade.
"They can have a bit of fun and get a bit of team spirit back,'' Ferris said.
It has been confirmed that Cody Chick won't play again this season after damaging ankle ligaments in the 3-1 loss to Wallis Lake last week. Josh Bithrey will come into the side.
Justin Atkins also returns after being unavailable last week.
In other premier league games on Saturday Old Bar will play Port Saints at Port Macquarie, Wingham tackles Port FC, second placed Port United tackles fourth placed Macleay Valley while leaders Wallis Lake battles Camden Haven at Laurieton.