Two new signings will start on the bench for Ballarat City FC against second-placed Moreland Zebras in NPL2 West Vic at Fawkner on Saturday.
City FC has bolstered its list with NPL-experienced Kazudi Okada and Abel Fasseha.
Coach Danny Gnjidic said Okada and Fasseha would add experience to Ballarat for the second half of the season.
Okada fills the second visa spot for City FC and makes the move from NPL2 East Vic club Box Hill United, where has scored three times in five appearances this season.
He was part of an All Japan University Championship with Kokushikan in 2014 before launching his Australian career with Manningham United in FFV state league one in 2015.
Okada was in his third season with Box Hill, which is second last in the east comnference.
Gnjidic said he was uncertain of the exact cirumstances in which Okada had become available, but was delighted to have secured the forward.
Fasseha has been a journeyman, having played with Box Hill United, Hume City, Goulburn Valley and Springvale White Eagles in the NPL.
Gnjidic said Fasseh was coming off an injury which forced him to miss last year.
In another major line-up change fror Saturday, Shaun Romein returns after missing one game through suspension.
Despite being six positions and nine points adrift of Moreland Zebras, Gnjidic said Ballarat was making the road trip confident it could keep its solid run going.
City FC has picked up 11 points in its latest six games, including three wins.
“It’s a tight competition. We deserved to beat them last time on the balance of play.
“They’re a team always pushing for promotion, but we have confidence and belief.”
Ballarat, which has five wins and three draws, and Moreland Zebras drew 1-all in round one.