Dubbo FC is the team to beat heading into the Dubbo and District Football competition men’s first grade finals but everyone is back in the running.
The Bulls finished as comfortable premiers after winning 11 of 15 matches, with three draws and the one loss.
They will take on Macquarie United on Sunday for direct entry into the grand final, while South Dubbo Wanderers and Orana Spurs will meet in the minor semi-final to keep their season alive.
In a worrying sign for all teams, this week will be the first game where the Bulls have been full strength in almost two months and coach Jason Schink is looking forward to it.
“We are feeling pretty confident, the last month or more we have been understrength and a bit out of form,” he said.
“This week is the first time we have had a full strength team in six or seven weeks and we’re taking the finals very seriously.”
Last time Bulls and Macquarie met, it was Macquarie that emerged victorious, 2-1. However both teams were missing key players, and Schink said he didn’t think anything could be read from that.
“Macquarie are a dangerous team. I think if out backs and our midfield get it right then we will get a few goals but they will be ready to come at us,” he said.
The winner of the major semi-final will go straight through but the loser will then have to take on the victor of Wanderers and Spurs.
“I would much rather us win this match and have the following week off than have to play another game because I think the other two teams are a danger,” the Bulls coach said.
Despite Spurs finishing fourth after the regular season, and getting just one win from 15 games, Schink said he views them as a threat.
“They actually have a very good team when they are at their best and last on the ladder isn’t an indication of their ability
“I actually wouldn’t be surprised if they made it through to the grand final. Wanderers are a good team too but I think they are a bit younger and haven’t got as much experience. I don’t know if they are quite there yet.”
Both semi-finals take place on Sunday at 3pm, with venues still to be decided.