Oxley Vale Attunga coach Tim Coates has rebuffed suggestions he has been engaged in an act of deception since the start of the year over his side’s strength.
Coates said it was undeniable that Mushies were going through a rebuilding period after their golden premiership run was halted by North Companions last season.
The second-placed Mushies will take a six-win, two-loss record into Saturday’s home clash against fourth-placed North Armidale. OVA thumped South Armidale 4-0 in their last start.
“People say I’m trying to build a picture. I’m not – it’s just the truth,” Coates said. “We’re rebuilding, I think North Armidale are rebuilding, North Companions’ rebuilding.
“I think the team to beat is Tamworth FC, but they’re not unbeatable – I watched them play Souths last week … I think it’s anyone’s competition. We’re going okay, but I’m not getting carrier away.”
In other matches on Saturday, East Armidale host unbeaten Tamworth FC and South Armidale welcome Demon Knights.