The quest for NNSW clubs to take on the best in the country kicked off on the weekend with the opening Round of the Westfield FFA Cup on the Far North Coast.
With sporting an extra four teams in the competition from last season, the eight teams were eager to get onto the pitch for this year’s Cup.
Weather conditions were favourable after last week’s extreme heat that prevented any football and the crowds came out in good numbers to support their teams.
Reigning Far North Coast men’s premiers, Bangalow SC, were too strong for coastal rivals Lennox Head despite several changes to the Bluedogs side that swamped all contenders last year to take their inaugural men’s premier title.
Coach Neil Fuller was satisfied with the 4-1 result but was not reading too much into the side’s first hit out for 2017.
“I am happy with the win, particularly since we have several new players who are still to understand our systems,” Fuller said.
Sharks’ mentor Troy Taylor, despite a loss, commended his charges in their first game situation for the season.
“The lads were positive and with six new players in the team, I look forward to working with them this season,” Taylor said.
In the second match of Day One, Ballina managed to get ahead early in the first half of the match against Alstonville, however, Villa fought back and jumped into round 2 after a 4-1 win at home.
Coach Andy Brown was complimentary of the players who have been promoted to the top grade from the strong 16’s team last season.
Day two seen eight yellow cards and a red issued after the full-time bell in the game between Tintenbar East Ballina and Italo Stars, where the Stars prevailed one nil.
In the final game of the weekend, Byron Bay were under strength and clearly rusty in their first game of the season, but were too strong for a young and gallant Thistles outfit, winning 3-0.
Thistles new player-coach, Chris Hunt, chose to field a team for the experience of playing in a big game.
Rams head coach Damon Bell endorsed the Westfield FFA Cup concept saying, “this is the first time we have nominated for this competition and we aim to make it to the Lake Macquarie stage in June.”
Round Two of the Westfield FFA Cup knock-out competition will be played on Wednesday evening 12th April.