Gunnedah FC believes that the return of coach Andy Cygan will give them a major boost in the run to the finals.
Cygan, who had been overseas, will play his first game in more than a month when Gunnedah host Kootingal on Saturday before hosting Moore Creek the following day.
The side have gone from winning a long sequence of games and topping the table to losing three games and dropping to third on the table - 10 points behind competition leaders North Companions.
Gunnedah captain Matt Williams said Cygan's "professionalism, insight and strategy" was "something we look forward to having back".
Williams said the side would also benefit from other players returning for the double-header.
"So yeah, we should be back to almost full strength, which will be good," he said.
Williams said the form of Gunnedah's ladder-leading reserve-grade side was creating "a lot of positivity" at the club.
"Some young players are really stepping up and showing the goods," he said.
One of those players is teenage striker Charlie Lawrence, who scored another hat-trick in Gunnedah's 7-3 away defeat of Northies on Sunday.
Lawrence has scored 26 goals in 11 reserve-grade matches and four goals in three first-grade matches this season. He leads the reserve-grade goal-scoring table by 17 goals.
Williams said Lawrence had "really stepped up" and was pushing for a first-grade spot.
So yeah, we should be back to almost full strength, which will be good.Matt Williams