HAMILTON will look to former Central Coast Mariners youth player Sean Pratt to make an immediate impact when they take on Edgeworth in the heavyweight clash of Wednesday night’s FFA Cup Northern NSW round five.
Olympic announced the signing of Pratt on Monday night and coach Michael Bolch said on Tuesday that the midfielder would play some part in the Cup clash at Darling Street Oval.
“He just bolsters our club,” Bolch said. “He’s an under-20s player so he’s outside the PPS and can play six or seven games before we bring him in.
“We’ve had Andrew Swan [hamstring] and Rhys Cooper [knee] injured and Leo Bertos has left, so we’ve got players out.
“He’ll probably play as a six or eight with us. He’s trained with us a couple of times and he’s tidy on the ball, he’s mobile and has a good work-rate.
“We need a bit of speed and mobility, and someone to make runs beyond the strikers. With Coops out, we haven’t been doing that enough.”
Bolch said Pratt, 18, was keen for a chance in the NNSW NPL and had been on the radar of “four or five clubs”.
Meanwhile, Bolch said Andrew Swan, who aggravated a hamstring injury playing off the bench against Edgeworth on April 22, was a chance to return for the Cup clash but Cooper was one or two weeks away. He said the likes of Peter McPherson, Matt Swan and Tommy Spencer could be rested ahead of the NPL game against Broadmeadow.
He added that Tyler Warren, who was players’ player in the 1-1 draw with Valentine and “did well on the weekend” in the 1-1 stalemate with Lake Macquarie, would remain in goals in place of Danny Ireland (illness).
Edgeworth coach Damian Zane said there would be no changes to his squad from the 1-0 win over Valentine on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Lake Macquarie hope to welcome back midfielder Justin Broadley from six weeks out with a broken toe for their clash with interdistrict side Cardiff City at Macquarie Field.
Steve Rospigliosi returns for the Roosters after missing their 1-1 draw with Hamilton on Sunday. Dean Holt and Josh Simmons will miss the match.
Rosebud coach Peter McGuinness was sweating on the fitness of goalkeeper Paul Bitz, Mitch Hunter, Alex Read and Ryan Ensor for the clash with NPL leaders Lambton Jaffas at Adamstown Oval.
Maitland host Weston at Cooks Square Park and Broadmeadow play second-tier New Lambton at Alder Park in the other games. All matches start 7pm.