Eagles brace for toughest climb yet

IN DOUBT: Edgeworth defender Dom Bizzarri battles for a header against Kane Goodchild in Olympic’s 1-0 win last Sunday. Bizzarri has a slight hamstring injury and could be rested this weekend ahead of the FFA Cup round of 32 clash with South Melbourne. Picture: Max Mason-HubersEDGEWORTH coach Damian Zane has steered the Eagles to back-to-back Northern NSW NPL title doubles, but he believes a minor premiership this year will be his greatest achievement.

“I’ve won coach of the year twice, but if we win this year, this has been my best year,” said Zane, whose Eagles take on the eighth-placed Charlestown at Lisle Carr Oval on Saturdayfrom 6pm.

“When I took over I wanted it to be like it used to be, where everyone came to Edgeworth and when you wonyou knew you’dearned it. That’s what we wanted, and now we’ve got it.This year, everyone has played out of their skin against us.”

And while the contenders for Edgeworth’s throne are coming thick and fast with four rounds to go, Zane is looking at a familiar foe as their biggest threat.

“Realistically, just the way teams are performing, for me it’s us and Hamilton again,” he said.“I’ve looked into the draws and I think one of us will take enough points to win it, because we’ve both got a game in hand on Lambton andValentine, and if we drop points, Hamilton won’t. That’s how I think it will be.”

Edgeworth lost 1-0 to fourth-placed Hamilton last week but retained the competition lead from Lambton Jaffas on goaldifference.

He saidDom Bizzarri and Dylan Holz were in doubt for the Charlestown game with minorinjuries ahead of the Eagles’ away FFA Cup clash with South Melbourne next Wednesday night.

“We don’t want to risk them but we will be going full strength to win,” he said.“Ihad hoped not to have to do that,but we needed to not lose last week.”

Also Saturday, an injury-hit Jaffas host Adamstown from 2.30pm at Edden Oval.On Sunday, Maitland’s finals hopes are on the line against Lake Macquarie, who have their Old Boys’ Day at Macquarie Field. The Bears host Hamilton at Weston Park.

Meanwhile, Maitland defender Shane Cansdell-Sherriff is a strong contender for the Adamstown coaching job following an interview this week and news outgoing Charlestown boss and Rosebud candidateShane Pryce will become an assistant at Jaffas next year.

The Herald understands Cansdell-Sherriff, who is set to retire from playing after this season, impressed the Adamstown committee, who were considering Pryce for the job.

Interim coach Nick Webb, who took over from the sacked Peter McGuinness on June 1, is also in the running for the gig past this year.

Broadmeadow, who have former skipper Peter Haynes retiring at year’s end, have the bye this weekend.

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