After falling short in last season's Western Premier League grand final, Macquarie United FC coach Paul Crain admits his side fill face a tough first four rounds ahead of their round one clash against Dubbo Bulls FC.
"We've had an indifferent pre-season, we have been heavily impacted by injuries, we probably have five to six non-starters from last year's side that are injured." he said.
"So even though we are excited we don't have massive expectations on the group at this stage of the year."
Ahead of Saturday's game, Crain feels the side will be around the midfield of the ladder come finals time.
"I believe that we will slip in around the bottom of the semi's, probably around fourth or fifth that's the goal." he said.
"We will get everyone back on the park about round six or seven and then we will have our full squad back on the paddock and give it a shake from there see where we will end up."
After star striker Jesse Spang's move to Sydney, Crain feels a new player to the club will provide a big impact.
"Bryce Deaton is a new face to the club this year, he has played soccer overseas and played with Mariners as well, he's a keeper for us this year, I expect him to be very handy for us." he said.
"He has good communication from the back of the field, we are going to need him and need him to play well but it's going to be a first four rounds for us I expect."
Playing Bulls FC at Hans Claven 2, Crain knows the game will be tough for his side but is weary his side will be under strength.
"If we get anything out of the game, we will be really happy." he said.
"Bulls are a great outfit and they've proven that over an extended period, we expect no different from them but we are going into the game to win it like we always do obviously they aren't going to be playing our strongest side that's for sure."
Orange Waratahs and Barnstoneworth United kick off the season on Friday night in Orange, before three games on Saturday will complete round one.
Orana Spurs have the round one bye.
Kick off for Saturday's match is 4:30.
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