COOLAMON could welcome back as many as six players for Saturday’s must-win clash against Turvey Park at Maher Oval.
The Hoppers moved into the Riverina League top five for the first time this year on Saturday night, with just three weeks remaining in the home and away season.
Coolamon coach Matt Hard said nothing changes for the Hoppers, they simply need to keep winning.
“We haven’t spoken about it as a group but we obviously know results went our way and we’re into fifth,” Hard said.
“From our point of view, there is three weeks left and it’s a matter of staying there and to stay there we’ve got to be winning games, so it’s pretty simple.
“Our destiny’s now in our own hands. Last week I said we would be breathing down Tigers’ necks in case they slipped up, and now the roles have reversed and they’ll be doing that to us.
“It’s a good position to be in but it’s a matter of winning games to stay there.”
Coolamon, who are two points ahead of Tigers on the ladder, face Turvey Park, Leeton-Whitton and Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong to finish the season.
Tigers have GGGM, Turvey Park and Collingullie-Glenfield Park.
The Bulldogs themselves are not completely out of the race. They are six points behind Coolamon and face the Hoppers, Tigers and Griffith (away) to finish the year.
They will, at the very least, have a big say on shaping the final five.
Coolamon will get back talented teenagers Josh Buchanan, Liam Delahunty and Ryan Allen for the game against Turvey Park.
Kyle Woods is available after missing last week, while Matt McGowan (hip flexor) should return, and Sam Glyde (ankle) is rated a 50-50 chance by Hard.
Ryan Chamberlain (hamstring) will miss at least another week.
Hard expects the clash against the Bulldogs, who they beat by 27 points earlier in the year, to be another big challenge.
“Every game is the same for us, it was must win two weeks ago for us against Tigers, that was our last roll of the dice...and we know we’ve got to keep playing good footy or we’ll be on the outer,” he said.
“It’s pretty simple.
“Turvey were very tough last time we played them, we have a lot of respect for them and we know it is a big game for both clubs.”