MATHEMATICALLY, they’re still a chance – but Yenda coach Henry Nelson has made the startling claim his side has already “given up” on fourth spot.
The Tigers face wooden spooners the Yoogali Wanderers tomorrow night in a must-win clash if they are to sneak into the finals ahead of Leeton or Griffith City, who also play off on Saturday.
But close to Yenda’s entire first-choice side has already pulled out of the match for varying reasons.
Luke Foscarini, Eoghan Doody, Kevin O’Driscoll, James Trevers, Rhys Jones, Romain Papsidiero and Matthew Cappello will not take any part in the fixture, Nelson said.
“It’s injuries and other commitments but I’m a bit disappointed with the ones who have the latter and haven’t put those commitments aside to play,” he said. “During the year they would have done that but there’s a lot of arguing and moaning at training and a lack of commitment, I think.
“I’m hearing that Leeton will beat City so why does it matter – that sort of thing.
“I’ve tried to stay positive about the situation but there’s a fine line between staying positive and being realistic.
“I’ve got to field a reserves side, effectively – most of them will have to back up – and seeing our team on Saturday, the Wanderers might fancy their chances.
“There’s nothing I can do about that – the only thing I can say is best of luck to City and Leeton, because the winner will jump into fourth spot.
“Given the attitude we’ve displayed in the last two games, I don’t believe we’ll win this game.”
Nelson said it was nobody’s fault but their own that the team was in this situation, despite spending most of the season sitting comfortably in third on the ladder. “If we had capitalised on the chances we’ve had in certain games, it would be different,” he said.
“You could go through the season and pick out plenty of examples. I will be the first one to stick my hand up and admit it’s also my fault as well.
“The Wanderers, yes, they’ve been spanked by everyone, but they’re due for a win and if they’re up for it, they could be a shot against a weaker side on their own home turf.”