FNQ Bulls at full strength
FNQ Bulls are finally at full strength as they enter a pivotal three-game home stretch that could define their season.
After struggling for wins in the opening 12 weeks of the competition, the fourth-placed Bulls have a prime opportunity to move up the ladder with third-placed Whitsunday Miners and first-placed Brisbane Strikers, and fifth-placed QAS coming to Mareeba in the next fortnight.
With Joe Rusch and Alex Plowman returning to a team that was buoyed by last week's season debut of veteran Glenn Hurney, coach Peter Tokesi believes now is the perfect time to start collecting three points.
"It's a big one because they are sitting just ahead of us on the ladder and we've got Brisbane coming up next week," Tokesi said yesterday as he finalised his squad for tomorrow night's match.
"We've played well at home, we just have to get those results."
Despite the Bulls impressive position on the ladder, they have just four wins to show from the opening 10 games of the season.
In those 10 games they have had to overcome a range of injuries and the exit of key strike weapon Takuya Iwata, who left midseason because of visa issues.
According to Tokesi that could end up being a blessing in disguise, with players such as Simon Fernandez, Matt Murphy and Cameron Nucifora getting valuable experience in the Queensland State League.
That depth will only help the Bulls later in the season, but they need to start winning games to ensure they are playing meaningful games at the business end of the year.
That starts this weekend against a Miners team the Bulls were disappointed to lose to in March.
Tokesi said that 4-3 loss, one of two blemishes on the Bulls season, could have gone either way.
"Feeling a bit aggrieved about not getting a win last time," Tokesi said. "But feeling that way and acting on it are two different things.
"We have to go out there on the weekend and get the result."
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Boost: Joe Rusch returns to a Bulls team that is desperately keen to win three points tomorrow.