The Tumut Eagles will travel to Young on Sunday to take on the Lions in round 12 of the Pascoe Cup competition.
A fifth placed Young belted Tumut 4-0 at The Bull Paddock in round three, but Lions’ coach Duncan Cameron was expecting a tougher contest this time round.
“I really feel Tumut is a tough team, and as I said last time, I was surprised of the score line when we beat them,” Cameron said.
“To come away from Tumut four-nil was a credit to our boys. We played really well, but I was surprised.
“I think Tumut will definitely be up for it this weekend. They have a lot to play for and a good young side.”
Young went through the first half of the season recording good results and now they look finals bound and Cameron said his side now needed to put the bottom sides away.
“I think it was great for the first nine weeks, when we played everyone once, we beat the teams we should be beating,” Cameron said.
“We did that right the first time and it starts again this time. We need to start putting games together because that top five is tight.”
Young will be a little under strength against the Eagles, with three key players all dealing with niggling injury concerns and illness.
“We’ve been dealing with injuries for the last month,” Cameron said.
“Clancy Hislop has a bad knee, Mitch Cameron hurt his ankle and Rhys Lacey has been sick.”
Lacey has scored six goals in 2021, and is a big omission against the Eagles, but Cameron wasn’t stressing, explaining that he had been testing the club’s depth to some success in recent weeks.
“For the whole year we have been missing one strike player each week, but it’s good to have the depth, we have been getting 30 players turning up for training each night,” Cameron said.
“I think I’ve used over 30 in first grade. It’s been great to give some payers a go and it’s a good sign for the upcoming years.”
Young were focused on sending Tumut home without any points, with Cameron believing every result would count when it came to finals positions.
“I believe it will come right down to the last round. We need to win these games and make sure we are as high up the ladder as possible,” Cameron said.
Tumut won’t be rolling over and the team’s leading striker, Jay Casey, said his young side had learned a lot after going into their previous match against Young over confident.
“We learnt to not rely on past results from either team, as it doesn’t reflect on how each team will play on the day,” Casey said.
Tumut are fresh off a tough 5-1 loss to premiers Leeton and Casey hoped to see his side bounce back by simply playing better football.
“It was a hard loss in Leeton but I think we should not worry about that game and just focus on the rest of the season and pushing for more points on the board,” Casey said.
“(We need) to play smarter football, play to our strengths and play well as a team.”
Finals isn’t out of the question for Tumut, but they need to beat Young on Sunday if they are any chance of making a late run for the Pascoe Cup title.
“I think that the lads are confident they can get a couple more wins towards the end of the season,” Casey said.
“If the boys want to make finals, then they will have to perform and show us that they can and want to make it.”
In another big weekend of Pascoe Cup action, Tolland host Wagga United, Leeton and Hanwood FC play their grand final rematch, Lake Albert make the trip to Cootamundra and Henwood Park take on the improved South Wagga Warriors.
In Blake Trophy action. Tumut will hope to bounce back from their forfeit when hosting Hanwood FC at Rawlings Park on Saturday.
Tumut are five wins out of the top five and at this rate, look to be playing for pride in 2021.