TAREE Wildcats will hold a season review at the conclusion of commitments in the Coastal Premier League before determining in which direction the football club will head next year and beyond.
While stressing it will be up to the players, president Ben Sedlen concedes the club might not be involved in the CPL in 2023.
It's been a dismal year for the club. They are last without a win in first grade and they've copped some fearful hammerings along the way.
The wet start to the year and resulting backlog of deferred game has further added to the problems. The Wildcats are due to play double headers (regular season matches on Saturday with deferred games Sunday) now until the final round of the season on August 27/28. However, first grade coach Shannon Hall doubts the club will play any Sunday fixtures after this week due to a lack of personnel.
"We'll use our 50th player this weekend,'' Sedlen said.
"Even in a bad year in the old (Mid North Coast) premier league it was rare to use too many more than 30. We'd have a squad of 26 for first and reserve grades and we'd be able get through with that.''
Travel, COVID, injuries and unavailability have decimated the club's roster.
"And players don't want to play if they know the side's not going to be competitive,'' Sedlen added.
"We've had to use players from under 18s to over 35s just to fill gaps. We had a 57-year-old fill in for us last week.
"I don't think we've put our best first grade side on the field this year.''
Sedlen admits there isn't the depth of players in the Manning to match it with the powerful clubs from Coffs Harbour. Adding two more clubs to the CPL this year was a mistake, he claimed.
"Too many clubs, too much travel and in too short a time to play the season,'' Sedlen said.
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The club's fortunes in the former Mid North Coast Premier League that stretched from Forster-Tuncurry to Kempsey ebb and flowed, but the Wildcats were nearly always competitive and usually semi-finalists.
While the North Coast Football clubs dominate the CPL, Sedlen doesn't think there's any great enthusiasm to revive the old FMNC premier league.
"And without clubs from Kempsey and Port Macquarie we can't have a premier league,'' he added.
While stressing the decision would be up to the players, Sedlen said nominating for the FMNC Southern League could be an option.
"The club probably needs to learn how to win again... maybe start there and hope to build up.''
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