United coach rates Eagles as Plate favourites

United coach Travis Weir has the Tumut Eagles as the team to beat in the Football Wagga Wagga Pascoe Plate competition. Photo: Eliza Anderson.

 A struggling Wagga United aren’t looking forward to playing Tumut this weekend, with coach Travis Weir predicting a very one-way contest in favour of Tumut at Rawlings Park on Sunday. 

“They should flog us, really they should win six or seven nil if I am being serious,” Weir said. 

The United skipper said Tumut were his top pick to take out the Pascoe Plate, after the Eagles’ recent performances against South Wagga and Hanwood FC and other close contests against Pascoe Cup heavyweights. 

“They’re probably the favourites to win the Plate,” Weir said. “The way they are playing, I don’t see any of the bottom teams getting close to them.”

While Weir was happy to sing the praises of his opposition, he was struggling to find anything good to say about his own team that went down to Tolland 3-1 on Sunday. 

“I don’t think we are a chance, some of the boys were playing injured on the weekend because we needed a win, and it was hard to make anything of it, I had to ask them if they even wanted to make finals or play for the Plate,” Weir said. 

A physical game against Tolland has a large chunk of United’s first grade team out injured this week, with the club contemplating a rare forfeit due to a lack of players. 

“We’ve got players out left, right and centre, we are a possibility of not having a first-grade side,” Weir said. 

“One player is in hospital with a collapsed lung after the Tolland game, our left winger, and striker have done their hamstring, our right midfielder’s knee is no good, our right back is away and our centre-half dislocated his shoulder.

Weir was leaving the decision on whether they would play until later this week, but said if they played Tumut in first-grade, there would be a lot of players backing up from second grade. 

“I will see if there is any of the reserve grade boys who want to play first grade,” Weir said. 

“It’s hard though, I will be asking them to play 60 to 70 minutes in second grade and again in first grade. 

“I will see how we go at training tomorrow (Thursday) night and decide on Friday, or Friday night if we are playing.” 

Regardless of the opposition, Tumut will have to focus their attention on earning a third-straight result as they prepare for their Football Wagga Wagga post-season.

In-form Eagles finisher Will Goode said a win would do nicely before the Pascoe Plate finals.

“Every win for the club is important but this win could set us up nicely for finals, so that will definitely be motivating us,” Goode said.

Tumut have been in every match this season, but struggled earlier in the year to find winners against Leeton, Henwood Park, Lake Albert, Young and Tolland. 

This trend changed in recent weeks, with Tumut scoring five goals against South Wagga and three more against 2019 premiers Hanwood FC. 

Despite the change in fortunes, Goode indicated nothing had changed at training, with the team continuing to work hard on this area, as they have done all year. 

“I don’t think anything has changed really,” Goode said.  

“We knew the goals were going to come, we just weren’t too sure when. “We’ve worked hard all year in training on our shooting, so it’s extremely satisfying to be able to get some goals in games.”

A modest striker was happy to be contributing to these results with goals of his own, but was happier to see Tumut winning. 

“Obviously it’s nice to get some goals on a personal level, but I’m just glad that as a team we’re turning these great performances into results,” Goode said.

Goode said Tumut wouldn’t veer away from their attacking style of player either, with the youngster suggesting the playing group was as motivated as ever to bring home some silverware in 2020.

“I guess we just need to do the simple things, stick to our attacking style of play and scoring goals. The hunger is there and we all love playing for each other,” Goode said. 

It will be another big day of Tumut football on Sunday, with all three senior grades taking on Wagga United at Rawlings Park. 

In other Pascoe Cup matches, Young and Tolland will be playing off for their season, with the winner assured of a place in the top four. 

Lake Albert play the top of the table Leeton and need to win if they want to make the top four, while Henwood Park are expected to have an easier time of things when visiting South Wagga.

Eagles draw Sunday

10.30am: Blake Trophy

1pm: Gardiner Shield

3.30pm: Pascoe Cup

Castle brace leads Wanderers women to victory

Megan Castle in action for the Wagga City Wanderers.

Megan Castle scored twice for the Wagga City Wanderers on Sunday, helping her side to a dominant 5-nil victory over Woden Weston FC at Gissing Oval. 

The Tumut striker scored one in each half, finishing one in the 37th minute before slotting home a dot kick in the 51st minute. 

The win means the Wanderers will have some form heading into their final match of the year against Tuggeranong.

Matthew Mitchell’s under 16s Wanderers kept their finals hopes alive with a good 3-1 in over Griffith FC at Gissing Oval on Saturday. 

The youngsters need to keep up that form when they play Tigers FC this coming Saturday. 

Gabe Gilbert’s under 14s Wanderers were on the opposite end of a big 6-1 result at Gissing Oval on Saturday, with Griffith FC proving too good. 

The young representative footballer has a chance of a second win on Saturday though, when playing the winless Tigers FC at Gissing Oval.

Tumut footballer Braydan Salmon tasted more success on Saturday when his under 13s Wanderers knocked off Griffith FC 1-nil at Gissing Oval. 

The Wagga side takes on the struggling Tigers FC this weekend and a win would all but assure a spot in the finals with only a couple of rounds remaining.

The Wagga City Wanderers under 18s had the bye on the weekend, and currently sit fifth with only two rounds remaining. 

Tumut footballers Daniel Castle, Ethan Watt and Matthew Mitchell will hope they can beat Monaro Panthers at Gissing Oval on Saturday to keep their finals hopes alive.