Flying the flag for local football
The Tursa Anzac Cup and Callan McMillan Shield competitions still had its share of disruptions last week due to wet fields, but at least there was a lot more football played than the previous few weeks. Ballina finally found a way to secure maximum points, by defeating Pottsville Beach 4 goals to 2. Pottsville Beach player coach, David Lonie, was missing four of his best players and said after the match that player unavailability will be his biggest challenge in 2010. The reality of work commitments and other issues for amateur players, makes it difficult to guarantee the strongest squad every week.
The only other Premier Men’s game was between Byron Bay and Goonellabah, where the Rams defeated the Hornets 4 goals to 2. In the Women’s competition, a very one-sided game between Alstonville and Lismore Thistles saw a 13 nil victory to Villa. The composition of the top female sides has changed markedly over the past few seasons, with the pointscore winners from 2008, Lennox Head and Italo Stars 2009, losing almost their entire team, after winning the competition. Such one-sided results do little to encourage players to return to play against dominant teams and seemingly does not guarantee long term participation of a team either.
The First round of the State Cup will be played this Saturday, with three Football Far North clubs competing. Goonellabah will travel to Coffs Harbour to play Norths United, from Football Northern Inland Zone. Byron Bay will host last year’s North Coast premier’s Port Macquarie. South Lismore have a road trip to Kempsey, where they meet Pacific Palms from Forster. This competition first started in 1884, but has not been played for several years and gives an opportunity for all senior men’s teams in Northern NSW to compete in an FA Cup style competition. Prizemoney for the tournament is worth over $10,000. We wish all players a safe trip and success on the pitch. We urge supporters to get down to Byron Bay to support the Rams in their clash. I will be with the Hornets in Coffs Harbour flying the flag for Football Far North Coast.