The upheaval of coronavirus has proven rather fortuitous twist for Oxley Vale Attunga.
If not for the pandemic Jack Diebold probably wouldn't have been pulling on the red this season.
But to the Mushies advantage - as he showed at Riverside 3 on Saturday - he is. The striker slotted four goals as they launched their Northern Inland Premier Division campaign with an 8-3 triumph over Gunnedah FC, his last icing the five goal win after he had put them ahead early in the game with some fancy footwork and a nice finish.
From there they took control, Diebold and Mitch O'Keefe both scoring doubles for a 4-nil lead at half-time. Gunnedah did rally in the second half, scoring two goals in the space of a couple of minutes at one stage but the Mushies hit back with two quick goals of their own.
Diebold and O'Keefe were dynamic up front, relishing plenty of ball and even combining for a couple of goals.
"I lived with Mitchell last year and he's getting married to my sister so we've got good chemistry up there," Diebold said.
The 20-year old returned to the Mushies last season after a two-year stint with the Lake Macquarie City Roosters.
He was set to link up with Northern NSW National Premier League club this season after moving down to Newcastle for uni. But then the pandemic hit and he found himself back in Tamworth, and so decided to have a run with the Mushies.
"I like playing here though, so it's not bad," he said.
He said it was great to finally get back out on the field on Saturday.
"It's been probably the longest stint I've had without playing soccer ever so it felt really good to just get out there and run," he said.
It was a good start too.
"We'd only had one proper trial match before this and that was with our own club so there wasn't a lot of football in the last couple of months obviously because we couldn't," Diebold said.
"We're pretty disappointed that we conceded three, that's never ideal against any team. But at the end of the day we scored eight goals so there's plenty of positives there but lots to work on as well."
Cale Penrith and Will Menz were also busy in the middle while Brendan Fergie and Adam Watson were solid at the back. Diebold said it's great to have them (Fergie and Watson) back on deck this season and spoke of the way they just control things.
"They're really good to have back there especially for the young guys coming through. I learnt a lot off them when I was young so now they can learn a lot off from them as well," he said.
David Silver bagged a brace for a gallant Gunnedah, who will, captain Matt Wiliams said, take a lot positives away from their performance.