Following a strong 3-0 victory over Weston Molonglo last weekend the Wagga City Wanderers will be keen to back that up with another victory at home when they clash against rivals Yoogali on Saturday at Gissing Oval.
Despite the strong win last week, the lead up to this weekend's clash has been less than ideal with illness and unavailability meaning that regular coach Dave Leonard and at least Ben Mavor, Samson Lucas and Ryan Matheson are not in attendance this weekend.
Coaching duties has thus shifted to technical director Andrew Mason who will be taking the reins of the first grade men's side for the first time this weekend.
Despite the distractions, Mason believes that the side are in a good mindset leading up to the clash.
"They are going okay they had a couple of good wins on the weekend," he said.
"We've got a run of eight or nine home games now so we are looking forward to spending the next few months at home and not having to travel.
"We are quite confident and a lot more relaxed not having to travel all the time so it should be good."
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This is only the third home game that the Wanderers have had so far this season, however Mason believes that the way the fixture is set actually benefits the club.
"We are quite happy to go over to Canberra in April and May," he said.
"We would much rather be in Wagga during June and July instead of Canberra so we don't mind at all.
"The boys are in a confident mood and looking forward to a home game against Yoogali, there is a bit of rivalry there and it should be a good game."
The rivalry between the Wanderers and Yoogali is pretty well established, but Mason maintains that they will be treating this weekend's match the same as any other week.
"We treat everyone the same, we have played ANU in a couple of finals and we have played Yoogali in a final," he said.
"You can't treat anybody any different, they are all hard games that's why we are in it, we want hard football.
"We want good competition and that's what it is all about.
"There is a little bit there against Yoogali but everyone is good mates off the field so it should be a competitive game on Saturday."
Mason also didn't hold any concerns over his first time coaching the side.
"I've been there since 2016, I used to do the U18's and then if the U20's coach or the first grade coach was away I'd step in and coach them," he said.
"My role as technical director is to oversee everybody as well so I've been spending a bit of time with the first grade women over the last few weeks.
"I also am touching base with Dave and Liam (Dedini) as to where they are up to.
"This will be the first one that I am running on the day but I am in the loop with whats going on anyway."
Mason believes that the key to victory this weekend is through their defensive effort.
"The key for us is making sure defensively we are pretty solid, organised and compact when we need it," he said.
"Then when we do have possession of the ball that we are effective with it and we don't waste it."
Looking past this weekend's match, the next two months are crucial for the Wanderers.
"We have got some good points travelling away and we have got this run of home games so we want to take advantage of that," Mason said.
"People are travelling to us so we want to be getting 20-24 points out of the next eight or nine rounds just to consolidate and keep us in the loop for finals at the end of the year.
"We have got this run and we need to take advantage of it."
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