KICKING ON: An Ipswich City Bulls player looks to improve his team's position during the recent Capital League 1 Reserve Grade local derby at Kippen Park.
KICKING ON: An Ipswich City Bulls player looks to improve his team's position during the recent Capital League 1 Reserve Grade local derby at Kippen Park. Rob Williams

Extra motivation for Bulls' top four charge

FOOTBALL: Perched just outside the top four, the Ipswich City Bulls have plenty of ammunition to fire up at home on Saturday.

Being a catch-up game against a former coach and the team above them on the Capital League 1 ladder provides even more incentive.

Head coach Norbert Duga expects as much when his top side tackles Annerley at Sutton Park in the 6pm match.

Former Bulls mentor Nev O'Sullivan is on the Annerley coaching staff.

"I'd love to get one over Nev as he's currently leading 2-1 against me,'' Duga said.

"It's a very congested table at the moment and 30 points still available to play for.

"At this point, every game is important to stay in touch with the top four.

"It's the old six-point game with Annerley sitting in front of us. A loss would leave us chasing the pack. A win puts us right in the mix.''

The Bulls Reserves are also keen for victory being in the top sector of their competition.

The main challenge for the Ipswich team in recent weeks has been managing injuries and a player drain.

Among key players being monitored are Nathan Manttan and Loverney Bedia.

Manttan has been out for a couple of weeks with an ankle injury but trained well this week.

"He's likely to be involved on Saturday in some capacity,'' Duga said.

Bedia is also returning from an ankle injury.

Justin Hilliard will be available for the Bulls after a two-game suspension.

Harrison Diehm and Joel Munn are still a few weeks away.

Michael Ward and Jack Ryder are still overseas in Europe.

The Bulls top side prepared for their catch-up game after a 1-0 win.

"We were quite comfortable last week against New Farm and controlled the game well,'' the Bulls coach said.

"It would have been nice to take our chances and actually kill the game off but defensively we were very strong, limited them to maybe one chance and a couple of half chances.

"It was a good overall performance but I am expecting Annerley to be a lot tougher.

"They're a good side. I think they have plenty of goals in them but we've been good defensively of late.

"I also think they can be vulnerable at the back, probably a game where if we can take our chances then I am confident we can get something from the game.''

It's also a huge game for the Bulls Reserves to consolidate a top four spot after a disappointing 3-1 loss against New Farm last weekend.

Game day

Saturday: Capital League 1 catch up-games (4pm and 6pm) - Ipswich City Bulls v Annerley at Sutton Park.