Soccer clubs chase Cup cash

THREE local clubs will carry the flag for Football FNC when they contest the opening round of the inaugural Northern NSW Football Solo Cup today.

Byron Bay, Goonellabah and South Lismore will be vying for their share of the $10,000 prizemoney on offer, in the first competition to involve all seven regions within Northern NSW Football.

Byron Bay had the luck of the draw with a home game against Port Macquarie at 3pm.

Goonellabah and Souths are both on bus trips, with the Hornets off to Coffs Harbour to meet Norths United FC and Souths travelling to Kempsey to take on Pacific Palms.

Byron Bay coach Peter Ware has a full-strength side to take on Port Macquarie and after remaining undefeated in their three Anzac Cup games, the Rams should be growing in confidence.

“We know nothing about Port Macquarie, but the boys are really looking forward to it,” Ware said.

“We’ll look to our more experienced players such as Kai Connell in goals, Tom Ruhl in midfield and Sam Owens up front to settle the side.”

Goonellabah coach Mark Ambler is not so fortunate, with four players missing for their trip to Coffs Harbour.

“We’re not at full strength but we’re going down there to win,” Ambler said.

“Craig Attewell in goals will be important, as will our new midfield combination of Kale Hopper and Matt Dorigo, who looked good in our win over Thistles last week.”

While Byron and Goonellabah are hardened premier league clubs, first division South Lismore has shown plenty of ambition to nominate and will be big underdogs against Pacific Palms at Kempsey.

One catch-up game from Football FNC’s Tursa Anzac Cup will be played this weekend, with Pottsville hosting Lismore Thistles tomorrow starting at 4pm.

Pottsville are playing their final pool game but after a draw and a loss so far, the newly promoted Panthers are out of contention for the Cup semi-finals.

Thistles lost 3-0 to Goonellabah in their only game so far, but a win tomorrow would give last year’s Cup finalists a chance of reaching the semis again, if they can go on to beat Workers in their final pool match.

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