Westlawns Zac Benfield with the ball during the Maclean Bobcats and Westlawn Tigers football match at Barry Watts Oval on Saturday, 27th May, 2017.
Westlawns Zac Benfield with the ball during the Maclean Bobcats and Westlawn Tigers football match at Barry Watts Oval on Saturday, 27th May, 2017. Debrah Novak

Westlawn sweats on Benfield for FFA Cup

FOOTBALL: Westlawn Tigers has a minor injury cloud hanging over the squad as they head up the highway to take on Goonellabah Hornets in the third round of the FFA Cup.

The Tigers will sweat on the fitness of right back Zac Benfield, who rolled his ankle in a training mishap this week.

A resilient fighter, Benfield has assured the club he will take the field, but captain-coach James Joyce said they have put a stop-gap measure in place as insurance.

"Harry Vidler has put in the hard yards to earn himself a spot in the squad, and he will be ready to take over when Zac pulls the pin,” he said.

"We want to get as much out of Zac as we can, but we have the personnel there to cover. It is a great opportunity for (Vidler), he has trained himself into this spot and he will definitely get a lot of game time no matter which way it goes.”

The Tigers are coming off the back of a 9-0 drubbing of Taree in the last FFA Cup round, but Joyce said they will need to hit the reset button against Goonellabah.

The Hornets are coming off the back of a good away win over South Armidale last start but that result has not played into the Tigers' thinking.

"It is hard because you don't see where people play and you don't know what the competition they played against was like,” Joyce said.

"From my perspective, the opponent is irrelevant. We will just go out and play the type of football we want to play.

"That is the beauty of playing out of zone teams, it is an unknown commodity.

"You just have to be the best you possibly can be, and then accommodate on the fly.”

The Tigers have been training relentlessly over the past two months in preparation for the Cup and with a few experienced heads at the back, Joyce believes the side will be ready for whatever the Hornets throw its way.

The match will kick off at 3pm at Weston Park.

Matthew Elkerton



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