Oxley Vale Attunga will be hoping for better fortunes when they make their second trip to Armidale this season on Saturday.
Last years Northern Inland Premier League runners-up started their 2018 campaign with a 4-nil away loss to East Armidale before belting South Armidale 6-nil.
‘Rebuilding’, aside from the points, Mushies coach Tim Coates said they didn’t really take anything away from the game and recognises that the Redmen will be a big step up.
While they also suffered a first round loss they have since beaten North Companions and East Armidale, and Coates expects to face a very different team to the one that was beaten by Tamworth FC.
He understands that a few of the players that had left the club have returned.
“We’re expecting them to be a very solid side,” he said.
An “experienced team”, he said they are probably in a similar space to what the Mushies were a few years ago, and spoke about using his sides youth to their advantage and try to run the Redmen around.
After having to blood a number of new faces, the Mushies will welcome back a few familiar faces.
“Dan Cannon and Luke Purcell are both back after injury and shelving retirement plans,” Coates said.
Both will come back through reserve grade.
Cale Penrith will also play his first premier league game for the Mushies while Felix Bruno is back after working away from Tamworth for a while. They too will start in reserve grade.
“It gives us some more options,” Coates said.
In other games Tamworth FC host East Armidale while Demon Knights and South Armidale clash in Armidale.
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