A serious knee injury has left Tamworth FC midfielder Chris Hughes' career hanging in the balance.
Tamworth FC coach Greg Bartlett said the injury was sustained in a tackle against Demon Knights in round four- a 3-0 result that snapped FC's undefeated run that extended back to the start of last season.
As FC prepare to play OVA at Scully Park on Saturday, Bartlett said: "He'll [Hughes] be lucky to play again - full stop ... It's his left knee. He's already had two ACL operations on his right right, so I doubt he'll play again."
Bartlett said it was a toss up between Hughes and striker Troy Hearfield as to who had been the side's best player the past two seasons.
Hughes had "looked after our midfield for 18 months", he said.
"So that's gonna be a hard one to cover," the mentor added. "But it is what it is, so we'll just move on."
Forward Hayden Davidson has been moved back to the midfield, in Hughes' absence.
Bartlett said: "Hopefully Hayden can do a job for me. He's my sort of Mr Fix-it. He plays where he has to play: he plays all over the park for me."
Elsewhere on Saturday, East Armidale host South Armidale while Demon Knights travel to Norths United.