The Northern Inland Premier League minor premiership is all wrapped up.
Tamworth FC’s undefeated efforts this season has given the side an unassailable lead with five rounds remaining to claim a title coach Greg Bartlett said “certainly” meant a lot.
While the final rounds won’t have any bearing on FC’s ladder position, Bartlett said his players won’t be lacking any motivation as they go into Saturday’s clash against East Armidale.
“A winning feeling’s a good feeling,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett added: “If we don’t go on with it, it won’t be worth all the effort.”
This weekend will see Tamworth FC put their 14th different starting XI on the pitch this year, Bartlett said.
Having good numbers at training and players like Adam Schultz waiting in the wings made life much easier for Bartlett.
“There’s guys who might be in reserve grade one week but ready for first grade the next,” he said.
“Adam Schultz typifies that. He comes up from ressies and has actually played better in first grade. He really enjoys the challenge.”
One part of the lineup Bartlett has been able to keep together for the most part is the defensive unit of Ross Price, Troy Hearfield, Matt Gardner and Hamish Migheli.
“They’ve been able to get used to playing with each other,” Bartlett said.
“And Hamish, he’s only a young guy in year 12. He comes from Inverell and doesn’t train with us. That’s a testament to his ability to be able to come in and play each week.
“Jackson Haussler doesn't train with us either and he was good against North Armidale a couple of weeks ago. There’ll be pressure on him to perform but he loves that.”
Despite remaining undefeated this season, Bartlett said the competition was a lot closer than the ladder suggested and expected a tough slog against Easts.
“They’ll be hard tomorrow. Brent Pedlow’s the leading scorer in the competition and we’ll have to make sure we do a job on him,” he said.
“There’s guys like Corby Kliendienst as well – they’re a good team East Armidale.”
Tamworth FC and East Armidale are set to clash on Johnson Field but Bartlett said that could change.
“They played the Johnson Cup on it last week after it rained. It’s in a hell of a mess. We might have to move it,” Bartlett said.