AFTER a gruelling ten-week pre-season, the Mid North Coast Premier League Football competition begins this Saturday with a re-match of last seasons’ Grand Final between the Camden Haven Redbacks and Port Saints, right here in Laurieton.
The Redbacks have been working overtime throughout the pre-season to ensure their fitness is top notch and that they can make amends for the heart-breaking golden goal loss in extra time to the Saints in the decider last year.
With six of last year’s grand final team having moved on for work, university, retirement or just a year off, it will be a slightly new-look Redbacks team that takes the park this Saturday. Coach Simon Hancox elaborated “Whilst we still have an excellent core of guys returning from last years’ squad, it’s been an exciting pre-season for us as we eye off the new talent that has come to the Club this year.”
“Initially as we knew we would be losing a few of our senior players there was some concern about our prospects this year, but that has gone by the wayside now as I am confident we have not only replaced the guys that have left, but potentially even improved on it and we’ve certainly increased the depth in the playing group with genuine competition taking place for many positions within the side.”
Most sides throughout the competition have seen significant personnel changes and Port Saints have been no different so it will be a big change for them also and both coaches will be looking forward to seeing their new charges take the field.
It’s been a mixed bag for the Redbacks in the pre-season. Having travelled up to play Orara Valley in March with a limited squad and whilst going in to half-time at 1-1, the Coffs Harbour side ran away with it in the second half to secure victory 7-2. This month the Redbacks played their second and final trial at home to Wauchope and comfortably saw off the visitors 6-1 in what was a dominant display of possession football. It was obvious to see the fitness work the team had put in over the early parts of the season paid dividends.
Following on from a home game against Port Saints this Saturday, the Redbacks will travel to Kempsey in Round 2 to take on the Macleay Valley Rangers, who by all reports have significantly strengthened this year, before returning home to Laurieton in Round 3 to take on long-time nemesis Port FC.
Kick off on Saturday is 1.15pm for Reserve Grade and 3pm for First Grade. The Club would like to see all past and present supporters in attendance to cheer home our boys in the first game of Season 2016.
This year will see nine clubs comprising first and reserve grade compete for the Football Mid North Coast title.
Premier League is the highest level of football played within Football Mid North Coast.
Clubs and the zone will be lifting the competition to a new professional level this year and invite football or sport lovers to come and support your club and watch the best football on the coast.
If you haven't been before, come and have a look, you'll be surprised! Football is the highest participation sport in terms of numbers and in these times has clearly defined pathways to the top level of the game.