Narrandera are unsure when assistant coach Josh Bennett will return to the playing field as they attempt to end a 27-game losing streak on Saturday.
The Eagles have been knocking on the door this season and will get another opportunity when they take on Turvey Park at Maher Oval.
The Bulldogs were the last team Narrandera defeated, back in July 2016, and they have lost four on the trot after a bright start to the year.
The task has been made harder however with Bennett’s unavailability. The big forward has been restricted to just two of Narrandera’s opening six games as he battles glandular fever.
Fellow prized recruit Kyle Archibald is yet to play also due to work commitments.
“We’re not far away. We’re still just lacking, really, a full-forward or a big target to kick to with no Josh or Kyle,” Narrandera coach Jarred Lane said.
“It does leave a little bit of a hole but we’ve been playing pretty well without them so far, we’ve just got to keep it going.”
Canberra-based recruits Corey Baxter and Damian Williams Jnr will rotate between full-forward and the midfield on Saturday.
They have both been dangerous in attack at times this season. Baxter kicked five goals in the Eagles’ most recent defeat to Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes. Williams has kicked four goals once and two lots of three.
While yet to win, Narrandera have been much more competitive this season. They went within two points against Wagga Tigers, then led third-placed MCUE at three-quarter-time.
“We’re slowly getting better and better,” Lane said.
“I’m happy with the way we’re building. We’re starting to play a decent brand of footy.
“For us, it’s more a consistency of effort thing and hopefully it rolls from there.”
Lane said the mood at Narrandera is upbeat. While the Eagles are still searching for that drought-breaking victory, the club is in an improved position.
“We’re pretty happy with where we’re at. We’re in games for the most part, which the boys are enjoying, because you play footy to be competitive,” he said.
“The club is going well. We’ve got good numbers, the reserves are going pretty well and the under 17s are going pretty well.
“From a personal point of view, it does get a bit frustrating that we haven’t got over the line for the win but I’ve been pleased with our performances.”
Lane is confident the Eagles can push Turvey Park.
“We give ourselves every opportunity if we play well and can get the game on our terms,” he said.