TAREE Wildcats enter an important and exhausting week of Football Mid North Coast Premier League fixtures starting tomorrow, where they’ll play three matches.
The Wildcats meet premiers Wallis Lake on Saturday at Forster, Port Saints midweek at Port in a catch-up game before hosting Port Saints again next Saturday.
“There’s nine points on offer there,’’ coach Rod Bartley said.
“If we can get six points out them them we’ll be looking good for the top three, or at least we’ll be comfortably in the top five. At the start of the year we set ourselves the aim of finishing in the top three – that’s where we should have been last season.’’
However, Bartley concedes there’s no easy points of offer as both Wallis Lake and Port Saints are ahead of the Wildcats on the competition ladder.
The Wildcats are fresh from a free weekend but have a couple of injury concerns. Jackson Witts damaged his ankle in the last match and a check was to be made on his fitness last night at training. Witts was in dominating form in the clash against Macleay Valley Rangers last start until sustaining the injury. Josh Morris – another one of Taree’s best against Macleay - is away this weekend.
However, Callum Griffis has recovered from an ankle problem and he’ll slot in for Morris, while veteran Justin Atkins is available and will replace Witts if he’s ruled out.
Taree downed competition leaders Macleay Valley in their most recent match and sit in fifth place, one point clear of Kempsey Saints.
Bartley said his side is keen to erase the memory of a heavy first round defeat by Wallis Lake.
“They outplayed us on that day and gave us a bit of a lesson,’’ he said.
“So we owe them one for that.’’
Wallis Lake went down to Macleay Valley in the only premier league game played last weekend.
In other games tomorrow Port United tackles Macleay Valley Rangers at Dixie Park, Port Macquarie in another important clash while Kempsey Saints will be favoured against Camden Haven at Eden Street, Kempsey. Port Saints should be too strong for last placed Wauchope at Findlay Park, Port Macquarie.
Tuncurry Forster sit the weekend out with the bye.
Saints move to second
PORT Saints moved to second place on the Football Mid North Coast Premier League ladder with a 1-0 win over Tuncurry-Forster in the catch-up game played midweek at Tuncurry.
Saints now have 24 points, three clear of Port United and Wallis Lake.
The ladder is: Macleay Valley 28, Port Saints 24, Port United 21, Wallis Lake 21, Taree 17, Kempsey Saints 16, Tuncurry-Forster 14, Camden Haven 8, Wauchope 6.