JOEYS FC has been hit by injury and player unavailability in recent weeks but coach Steve Gadd is hopeful the return of a couple of players might improve his side’s chances against South Armidale Scorpions in their NIF Premier League qualifying final at Inverell Sporting Complex tomorrow.
Playing a home final is a bonus as well for the Joeys.
They and North Armidale have home-ground advantages when they tackle South Armidale and North Companions respectively in NIF Premier League qualifying finals.
While the Joeys have a home final against the Scorpions, North Companions head to North Armidale’s Phil Wheaton Oval to tackle Andy Lennon’s North Armidale Redmen.
At stake are semi-final berths against Tamworth FC and Oxley Vale Attunga.
Gadd hopes the return of Trent Irwin and Ben Ashton from injury will be a major boost for his side which lost Brent Pedlow and Dom Bush to overseas trips recently.
“It’s tested our depth,” Gadd said.
“We had two overseas and four out injured last week.
“We do get a couple back but it hasn’t been ideal.”
The Joeys lost 3-nil to Tamworth FC last week, giving up two goals just before half-time.
“That broke our backs a little,” he said.
“But playing at home this week is very exciting for us.
“It’s great to have a home final.”
His side has a good record against South Armidale as well.
“We’ve beaten them both times this season, 2-1 at home and 3-2 over there.
“Last season we beat them 2-1 over there and had a 1-all draw here so they have been reasonable results for us.”
Joeys founder Heinrich Haussler hopes the return of Irwin and Ashton will help the side remain in the PL premiership race.
He’s also excited about the Mini World Cup draw in Inverell on Monday.
More than 40 teams will contest the Mini World Cup when it begins in Inverell at the end of the month.
“It is a fun tournament for junior players of all levels,” Haussler said of a competition played in four divisions and dispersing $40,000 in prizes for the young players as well as major trips to overseas football clubs.