The FFA Cup is the No.1 priority for Edgeworth and they will be taking no chances against last-placed Valentine on Wednesday night at Jack McLaughlan Oval.
The Eagles rested Daniel McBreen, Dominic Bizzarri and Tyson Jackson in a 1-0 NPL loss to Adamstown on Sunday in preparation for the midweek round-five cup clash and all will return against Phoenix. The winner progresses to the final eight in the Northern NSW division, from which two make the nationwide round of 32.
Edgeworth have made the national stage the past three years and are the only NNSW club to reach the round of 16, where they lost 5-1 to Western Sydney in 2016.
“It's No.1. Full stop,” Eagles coach Damian Zane said of the cup. “In terms of what it does for your club, it puts you on the national stage, and financially what it can do to build your club. And the boys will step up a notch.”
Zane said the loss to Rosebud was a wake-up call for his squad, which loses Dylan Holz (groin) and Aaron Oppedisano (hamstring) but regains Aaron McLoughlin.
Valentine drew hosting rights for the game but asked to play at Edgeworth because of lighting concerns at CB Complex.
Valentine coach Darren Sills planned to promote under 20s players and “shake things up a bit” after a poor effort in the 2-0 loss to Charlestown on Sunday.
“It’s not our lesser names that need some guidance and that will be brought up at training and hopefully that changes our attitude and the way we do things on Wednesday night,” Sills said.
He said confidence was down at Valentine and they didn’t do enough in attack to win against Charlestown.
Goalkeeper Scott Carter (work) and defender Wilson Edwards (injury) are out and Luke Willard (ill) is in doubt. Sills, though, was keen to make unforced changes as well.
“We need to do something,” he said.
“We need to get some pace up front and we’ll do that tomorrow night and shake things up a bit and see what happens.
“But we all need to roll up our sleeves and have a dig, coaches included.”