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Summer season awaits soccer

FOR THE WINNERS: Lismore Thistles captain Elsa Mangan and Tursa Employment and Training representative Natalie Smith with the Summer Youth League trophies at the launch of the 2017 competitions.
FOR THE WINNERS: Lismore Thistles captain Elsa Mangan and Tursa Employment and Training representative Natalie Smith with the Summer Youth League trophies at the launch of the 2017 competitions. Steve Mackney

WINTER soccer participation will transform into summer activity this Friday evening when Football Far North Coast launches its tenth year of the Summer Youth League competition.

Community partner Tursa Employment and Training has again aligned itself with Football Far North Coast for both a male and female competition being played together for the third year.

All ten male and female teams will each play nine games and the winner of each respective competition being the team finishing on most points.

History has delivered exciting soccer and a winner is unlikely to be known until the last round.

Lismore Thistles will look to continue its ascendancy in 2017 after the women's premier division side won both the pointscore and grand final trophies.

The team is also the defending female Summer Youth League champions from last year.

With the bulk of that team being youth players and improving steadily over the past few seasons, the Blues will be the team to beat in the female competition.

Byron Bay are expected to field a strong squad in the male Summer Youth League after the club's broad success in the 2017 winter competitions, in a male competition that is always very competitive. Football Far North Coast general manager Steve Mackney also highlighted how the Summer Youth League helps to promote the development of match officials.

"Football activity is significant in this region with almost 7000 players. A post-season competition like the Summer Youth League provides a good opportunity to focus closely on how to better deliver football at a high level,” Mackney said.