MAITLAND Magpies coach Mick Bolch has a problem – and he’s loving it. “Every week I have 15 players pushing hard or a first grade spot,” he said. “I honestly don’t know what my starting side will be and that’s a good sign. A lot of coaches would like to be in that position.”

This week the Magpies, sitting mid-table on 11 points, are away to Hamilton Olympic who are one point behind them on 10 points, in what will be a tough struggle.

“The ladder is a little deceptive at this stage because we’ve had the bye and also had a game washed out, so to be only three points off the lead is satisfying,” Bolch said. “We started slowly and lost our first game to Weston, but are undefeated in our last five, and had a draw with leaders Lambton Jaffas last match, so we’re happy with how we’re progressing. “We’re coming over the top of opposition sides in the second half and scoring a lot of goals late – and that’s a tribute not just to our fitness but also the culture and desire within the club.”

The Magpies have conceded just seven goals in six starts, the best defensive record in the league. At the same time striker Joel Woods has been in super form, scoring five goals in six games to be third on the competition’s goal-scoring list. Weston Workers are away to Charlestown City on Sunday.

MAITLAND MERCURY – Rick Allen (Friday, May 10th, 2019)