Gladstone Mudcrabs face make or break time

THE SEASON is on the line for the RG Gladstone Mudcrabs who face a must-win Trend Interiors/Carpet Court AFL Capricornia A-grade clash against Yeppoon at Clinton Park today.

The winless Mudcrabs have had a disastrous start to the 2005 season with four heavy losses, but coach Jason Chirgwin is ready for that losing run to stop today.

Lose today and the Mudcrabs face a big ask to be involved in the finals series.

'We know this match is crunch time for us, if we don't win today the season is going to slip away,' Chirgwin said.

It has been a tough season to date for the first-year coach with this year's crop of Mudcrabs vastly different to the team which won last year's A grade premiership.

Just five premiership players ? Mark Gordon, Greg McCallum, Andrew Travers, Darrell Dance and Deek Kanther ? are still at the club, showing how tough the job has been for Chirgwin. On top of that, today's line-up has been decimated by injuries to five important players.

'It seems as though we cannot take a trick right now, because we can't afford to have our best players injured.

'We have lost 18 players from last year and it does take time to adjust, I think everyone should know that we are not like last year's team at all.

'Look at Dave Alexander as an example ? Dave has been a top player for our club, but has just finished playing,' he said.

Even so, the tough on-baller is not giving up, saying this year's crop of Mudcrabs has what it takes to turn the corner.

'Footy is a funny game, it only takes one win to give people some confidence and today gives us a great chance to turn our year around,' he said.

Down the road at Tannum Sands, BITS are flying high and travel to Rockhampton as red-hot favourites for their clash against CQU Panthers.

Coach Rod Spice is without seven key players heading into the match and is expecting a tough encounter against the ever-improving Panthers.

'Even though they haven't been able to get a win, Panthers have pushed every side they have played and I expect it to a close game,' Spice said.

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