A SEASON-defining stretch of games for the Griffith Swans begins tomorrow with a daunting home clash against Riverina Football League ladder leaders Collingullie-AK.
Four of Griffith's next five games are at Exies Oval with coach Brandon Mathews under no illusions just how critical they will be if the Swans are to sneak into the finals.
"It's massive for us," he said.
"Everything's been massive after about round three after the way we've been going, but there's some big ones coming up.
"Hopefully we can jag a few wins and get things back on track."
The Swans play host to Turvey Park next weekend before facing Leeton-Whitton (away), the Wagga Tigers (home) and Coolamon (home) to round out the club's crunch period.
But Mathews is not looking any further into the future than tomorrow afternoon, when Griffith takes on one of the RFL's perennial powerhouses.
"I've only been with the club for 12 months but Collingullie have always been one of those sides - well-coached, well-drilled. It'll certainly take our best effort to beat them," he said.
"The gap between their best and worst probably isn't that big - they're just consistently good.
"On the other hand, our gap has been huge, and it's something we really have to address."
The addition of four key players will help Griffith's immediate cause - Mathews will make his playing return tomorrow, while Josh Hamilton, Dom Giorgi and Tom Webb have also been recalled after last weekend's bye.
However, key defender Richard Malone and Queensland recruit Jack Ryan are both unavailable.
Mathews said he will think long and hard before deciding on which other two players will be dropped.
"The team will be picked on form and who's doing the work. There's probably been too many guys getting a free ride," he said.