There is no shortage of action in round 10 of the Namoi League this weekend with a double-header at Hogan Oval sure to provide plenty of entertainment for the region’s football fanatics.
At 3pm the Elevens host Moree, before Narrabri and Wee Waa clash at the later time of 6pm. For Wee Waa coach Shane Soutter, the task of taking on the competition leaders is made harder by a mix of work commitments and injuries.
“We’re missing five or six players which hurts everyone’s ambition to play… My aim this week was to keep encouraging everyone to play,” Soutter said.
“We just need to continue to build on fitness and instilling the will to win.”
At the other end, Saturday’s game will be the second in just a few days for Narrabri, who play a catch-up game against the Elevens on Thursday night.
“My number one goal is to win on Thursday night and see how the squad pulls up then we put our focus to the weekend game,” coach Neil Brayshaw said.
“Only one game at a time but it will be a test playing two games in three days, but I know we have the fitness to do well.”
Narrabri has developed a strong reputation for its attacking prowess in 2021, with Brayshaw expecting no different on Saturday.
“We have to worry about how we play and do not be conservative… Really push through in the middle and on the edges and back our speed,” he said.
In the weekend’s other match, second placed Moree will be out to close the gap on ladder leaders Narrabri when they play the Elevens.
“My focus for this weekend is to win…. We need another win to get confidence back up and to not drop our heads when things go wrong,” coach Matt Urquhart said.
And while execution in attack will be crucial, according to Urquhart he will be expecting a solid effort from his defensive block.
“I would like to see our lads keep a clean sheet… I don’t think that’s too audacious to ask of them,” he said.
Reflecting on the season thus far, Urquhart remains full of praise for the squad’s younger players with fitness and consistency continuing to develop.
“I am still missing a few guys, but our reserves have really been stepping up and having a dig when we need them,” the player coach said.
“From the start of the season to now I have seen a huge improvements, from fitness to consistency and people implementing the things we work on in training.”