Rovers players Adam Gray (left), and Ben Casagrande celebrate after scoring a goal.
Rovers players Adam Gray (left), and Ben Casagrande celebrate after scoring a goal. David Nielsen

Rovers, Sharks carry local hopes to Coffs

RICHMOND Rovers and Lennox Head will spearhead the local contingent in the new version of the Northern Football Champions Cup at Coffs Harbour this weekend.

The Northern Champions Cup will be contested by last year's premiers from four areas - Far North Coast, Mid North Coast, Lower North Coast and Northern Inland.

Under the new format, the competition has been moved to the June long weekend rather than immediately following the season.

Rovers have won the Cup previously and should go into the weekend well-placed after some stunning recent form in the local premier division. However, it's believed a number of first-team players will be unavailable this weekend for the clash.

Lennox Head will play the Urunga Raiders in the only women's fixture.

"This is the first time some women's teams have been involved," FFNC general manager Matt Kelso said.

"There's only two this year but ultimately we'd like to see more. It should be a good challenge for Lennox as they've tended to dominate the local comp in recent years.

"Actually, were also looking at including grand final winners, not just minor premiers, in the competition to make the tournament larger.

"If the minor premiers are the grand final winners then we'd include the runners-up.

"There's prize money up for grabs so hopefully it will be well supported by the clubs."

Games will kick off on Saturday afternoon with the finals to be played on Sunday.


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