WE'RE the champs, you'll have to come through us.
Lake Albert coach Mitch Tinnock has warned Hanwood they won't give up the Pascoe Cup without a serious fight, adamant stopping the trophy heading to Griffith is a huge motivation for Wagga-based premiership contenders.
Defending premiers the Sharks host Hanwood, yet to lose or even concede a goal in eight games, at Rawlings Park on Sunday.
After a slow start to the year Lake Albert has won its past three games, including a strong showing against fellow top four side Wagga United last start, to leap into second spot, three points behind Hanwood.
"We'll be doing our best to try and uphold the Pascoe Cup's name and as defending premiers, we want to win it again," Tinnock said.
"We don't really want them coming in, having a walk in the park and getting an easy premiership.
"We want to do our best to try and at least make it difficult for them, and show Griffith that the Wagga comp isn't a total walkover.
"For the long term (Hanwood's inclusion is) a good thing for the comp having more quality. They'll raise the level and we have to match it I suppose, and hopefully pass them.
Winger Cam Mavor, outstanding in the 2-1 win over Wagga United, echoed Tinnock's sentiments.
"We don't want someone new coming in, especially from Griffith, taking it away from us," Mavor said.
"We believe we can beat them. We've got a strong team, we just have to play well on the day.
"It (not conceding a goal) just puts pressure on their backs because they're trying to keep another clean sheet, and we want to get one.
"I think we've got it in us to put a few away."
A builder by trade, the 26-year-old took last year off to concentrate on work and rest ankle and back niggles. Older brother Ben has also returned after sitting out 2018 with a knee injury to stiffen up the defence.
"I do a lot of tiling and last year I was working for myself, so I overworked myself really," he said.
"(I took a year off) mainly because of work, but also to give my body a rest.
"We've been warming into the year, but we haven't really shown our full potential."
Tinnock said his team showed signs their hunger is returning in the win over Wagga United.
"We just lifted our intensity. Everyone was really hungry and switched on right from the start, which in a few earlier games we probably weren't," Tinnock said.
Saturday: Wagga United v Tumut at Rawlings Park 5 (7pm)
Sunday (all games 3pm): Leeton United v Henwood Park at MIA Sports Field; Cootamundra v South Wagga at O'Connor Park; Lake Albert v Hanwood at Rawlings Park 1; Tolland v Young Lions at Rawlings Park 2.