Bluedog: Bangalow’s Simon Burns in action against Goonellabah.
Bluedog: Bangalow’s Simon Burns in action against Goonellabah. Marc Stapelberg

Pottsville Panthers on the attack

POTTSVILLE, the season’s big improvers, have the chance to move into semi-final calculations if they can upset Byron Bay at Pottsville today in Football FNC premier league soccer.

Since returning to the premier ranks this year Pottsville have looked far more potent than their first stint in the top division in 2008, when they lasted just one season.

The Panthers learnt their lessons from that difficult year and this time round have focused on fitness and an attacking philosophy, which is paying handsome dividends.

They remain undefeated on home soil and have scored nine goals in winning their past two games, but after a month off player-coach David Lonie is concerned about losing momentum.

“With the wet weather and long weekend we haven’t had a run in a month, so we really need to focus on picking up our game plan where we left off,” Lonie said.

The Panthers’ depth will be boosted by a new signing in midfielder Matt DeGrude from the Tweed Valley Kings in the Gold Coast premier league.

DeGrude will combine with Josh Taylor in the centre of midfield, with the pair looking to provide quality ball for in-form strikers Josh Boag and Mike Kolovos.

With Lonie also dangerous in attack with his height, ball skills and steadying influence, the Panthers present a formidable obstacle for the second-placed Rams.

Byron is expected to be at full strength, with new Japanese signing Kazuhiro Tsukamoto likely to come on in the second half after a quiet debut in their last gasp 3-2 win over Alstonville mid-week.

Kick-off is at 5pm.



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