Whanganui's three travelling football teams had mixed fortunes last weekend posting a win, a draw and a loss.
G J Gardner Homes Whanganui Athletic would have disappointed coach Tex von Kwiatkowski in their return to Lotto Central Federation League play last Saturday going down 1-nil to the previously winless North End.
Athletic went into that match hard on the heels of a 1-0 loss to FC Western to put them out of contention for Chatham Cup glory just days before Saturday's disappointing North End encounter.
Coach von Kwiatkowski had warned his predominantly young side to bring their listening ears to the North End game and leave their cloth pair at home. He also warned of complacency against FC Western in the Chatham Cup match days before.
"I warned them not to take them (FC Western) lightly," von Kwiatkowski said.
"They may well have been a team playing in a lower grade competition, but they were in form and leading their division. They were hungrier than us and I could see that in our warm-up, even. During the match, we dominated possession and were passing, but nobody was moving, they were like cardboard cutouts while the opposition were fighting for every blade of grass.
"I need aggression out there on the field, not foul play, but aggression. At the end of a game, we want their mothers to be crying, not our own," von Kwiatkowski said before the North End game.
"They might be bottom of the table without winning a game this season, but they have played all the top teams and had close finishes against them all, so they cannot be taken lightly."
It does not get any easier for Athletic this weekend when they take on their nemesis in last season's final, Peggy Gordons New Plymouth Rangers. Athletic do have the home track advantage.
Meanwhile, G J Gardner Homes Whanganui Athletic Reserves are performing well enough in the Yorb Horizons Premiership competition after a 2-1 win over powerful Feilding United two weekends ago. Feilding are now leading the competition on 10 points with Takaro Jokers. Placemakers PNBHS 1st X1 and Versatile Wanganui City are tied on 9 points in second, while Athletic are next on 8 points after a 0-0 draw with PN Marist Reserves last weekend.
Whanganui City were the only Whanganui travelling team to post a win last Saturday beating LongChill Takaro Jokers 1-0.
Athletic's new full-time coach, Jack Morris, has the young side pinging along nicely after a slow start to the season.
The side is made up of a group of players around the 25- to 30-year-old mark alongside a few as young as 15 who are beginning to step up to the mark.
"I'm pretty happy with how the team is performing after a slow start," Morris said before last weekend's PN Marist encounter.
"I have one out injured this week. Cade Knight, one of the young 15-year-olds who has been in form up front for us was hurt last weekend. We thought he'd broken his collar bone, but happily, it turned out not to be broken.
"He'll probably only be out for a week. Fortunately, we have a bit of depth in the club. Our thirds are three from three in the local league and they're all fighting for the chance to move up," Morris said.
Athletic play at home this weekend against Japac Homes Hokowhitu, while City have an away game against Breakers RSM.