Murwillumbah player and coach David Lonie looms as one of the big stumbling blocks for the FNC Premier Team tonight.
Murwillumbah player and coach David Lonie looms as one of the big stumbling blocks for the FNC Premier Team tonight. TWEED DAILY NEWS

Region's top soccer players play together in special match

THE Far North Coast Premier Team has the rare opportunity to flex its muscles when it takes on the powerful Murwillumbah FC at the South Lismore soccer field tonight.

It's been more than a decade since the region's best players have had the chanceto play together.

"The boys have trained the house down and they're really looking forward to this game," coach Craig Kennedy said.

The only player unavailable is defender Max Toovey, with Paddy Kable filling his shoes.

"Our defence is looking good with Max Hospers and Shaun Packham combining well in the middle and pace out wide with Paddy and Eamon Banks," Kennedy said.

Captain Darren Beardow will lead the side from midfield alongside Joel Rudgley and Kurt Walker, with three strikers in Sebastian Bell, Jonathan See and Player of the Year Dean Casey.

"We'll start with the attacking shape of three up front, but we will have to be flexible, depending on how Murwillum-bah line up," Kennedy said.

Murwillumbah were the undefeated minor premiers in the Gold Coast Premier League with coach David Lonie named Coach of the Year and four players making the Gold Coast Premier Team.

Among them is former Brisbane Strikers finisher Luke Morley, who won the Golden Boot and Player of the Year.

"We'll be a little short on match fitness but our aim will be to knock the ball around and play an entertaining game," Lonie said.

Lonie will play an influential role in midfield, where his height and strength will make him hard to contain.

Much interest will centre on a host of former Far North Coast players now with Murwillumbah, including former Rovers captain Joel Saye, former Burringbar and Byron Bay striker Simon Hurcombe and Ben Coulter, who had time with Byron and Thistles.

Former Bangalow juniors Moriano Kone and Ben Butler will also be in their line-up, along with former Pottsville goalkeeper Nathan Wilson.

At the other end, FNC 'keeper Brad Robertson has had a stellar season, but is sure to have a busy night against the classy Murwillumbah outfit.

"We're not too worried about the scoreline, our priority is to put up a good showing against some quality opposition," Kennedy said.

"Who knows, this could lead to games against bigger and better clubs for the FNC side in the future."

Kick-off is 7.15pm.



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