Tough losses deliver clarity for Eastern Wanderers

WELCOME BACK: All-action Eastern Wanderers striker Bai Fahnbulleh will return for Sunday's match-up with Griffith City in Wagga.

WELCOME BACK: All-action Eastern Wanderers striker Bai Fahnbulleh will return for Sunday's match-up with Griffith City in Wagga.

Football

THEY are down, but not discouraged.

The Eastern Wanderers might have been outshone by the Billabong Cup's two best teams over the last fortnight, but the Wagga side is hell-bent on bouncing back.

After a 5-1 loss to Hanwood FC and a 4-1 defeat to Yoogali SC, the Wanderers have found out the hard way where they sit in the competition's pecking order.

"We competed against two great teams, two weeks in a row, and now we know where we're at," skipper Justin Curran said.

"Hanwood were on fire when we played them, they're a fantastic team and Yoogali were great in patches as well.

"It's just a bit of polish to a certain degree that we've lacked.

"Fingers crossed that comes with time and when we get a few more of those players back."

The Wanderers were missing nine key men against YSC but are hopeful of getting some more senior bodies back for Sunday's home clash against Griffith City at Gissing Oval in Wagga.

The most important inclusion is Bai Fahnbulleh, the eye-catching striker who impressed against Hanwood, but sat out the YSC match.

Experienced defender Sam Mangelsdorf, however, is still a few weeks away from recovering from an ankle injury he sustained midway through the loss to Hanwood.

Curran said the Wanderers were excited about playing at home for the first time since early April, and are keen on making life tough for traveling sides.

"We're really looking forward to coming home again this weekend," he said.

"We've got half our travel over and done with already so we've got quite a few games at home coming up, which is pleasing.

"I suppose every club tries to make their home ground as intimidating as it can be and if it works out that a few other clubs can't handle the travel, so be it. We've got to deal with it for half the year."

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