COMMUNITY LEAGUE ALL AGE 1 | SEASON PREVIEW

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The 2020 Community League season kicks off this weekend with 20 All Age clubs, 35 Masters teams and 5 Over 45 clubs all taking part.

Much of the Community League focus will be on the All Age Division 1 First Grade competition, which will feature some recent and former IPL players.

We spoke to all 10 clubs ahead of Round 1.

ALBION PARK CITY FOOTBALL CLUB

2019 – 8th (*note 2019 was a 12 team competition)

How is your team shaping up?
We’ll be looking to build on a strong first season in the top grade and have recruited several experienced players. We’re delighted to welcome back former Dennis Sharman Medallists Jake Bagoly, Alan Warburton and Daniel Garcia.

Who is the competition favourite?
Port Kembla Pumas and Gerringong Breakers should be holding up the trophies come October.

A team to look out for?
Coledale Waves always work hard and the condensed season could work in their favour. Look out for Vale Banter Pups if Matt Vandenberg is given any opportunity in the top grade.

Comments from Albion Park City FC President Adrian Arciuli.

COLEDALE WAVES

2019 – 9th

How is your team shaping up?
We’re shaping up really well after making a few new signings. We’ve recruited some good young players from the Northern Suburbs.

Who is the competition favourite?
Gerringong Breakers.

A team to look out for?
Coledale Waves.

Comments from Coledale Waves coach Tim Canosa.

DANDALOO FC

2019 – 6th & Grand Finalists

How is your team shaping up?
We’re looking strong again this year and have been training the house down with most of the squad continuing on from last year. We’ve also made a host of new signings including Alan Davinson, Michael Davinson, Dan McKay and Damian Bedwell. He’ll be taking the place of Tam Hart, who had to regretfully retire from football this year. Tam will still be working behind the scenes and will be a major influence within the club.

Who is the competition favourite?
Gerringong Breakers, especially with them picking up Paul Gaffney this season.

A team to look out for?
Albion Park City Football Club with a new looking squad.

Comments from Dandaloo FC player Matthew Griffiths.

OAK FLATS AMATEURS

2019 – 1st & League Champions

How is your team shaping up?
Our first grade has turned over close to half its squad. With no pre-season games, the test will be how quickly the group can gel.

Who is the competition favourite?
I’ve heard rumours Gerringong will be strong.

A team to look out for?
I never really know what’s going on until the competition kicks off. Some teams may be boosted by players not wanting to play shorter IPL & IDL seasons.

Comments from Oak Flats AFC captain Ryan Bradbury.

GERRINGONG BREAKERS

2019 – 3rd

How is your team shaping up?
Luckily for us, a lot of players have come back to the club this season. Many left last year after we won the premiership in the Shoalhaven in 2018. They wanted to try their hand in the IPL or have the season off. Everyone is back and focused now. I’m looking forward to our younger players stepping up. The club’s plan is to keep this cohort of younger lads, get promoted when possible and give Gerringong the football pathway it deserves. Paul Gaffney has come back to us after a few seasons winning the competition in the league. For me, he’s a class above and has proven that time and time again for the last 20 years or so.

Who is the competition favourite?
Going off the rumour mill, Port Kembla are the favourites for me. We are hoping to be in the mix again this season as well but it will be tough.

A team to look out for?
The competition will be tight with 4-5 teams in the hunt this season. We’re playing Coledale first up and they’re always tough. The Waves had a great run in the FFA Cup last year and only got knocked out by national champions, the Wollongong Wolves.

Comments from Gerringong Breakers coach Andy Lockard.

PORT KEMBLA PUMAS

2019 – 4th

How is your team shaping up?
The team for 2020 is shaping up well with the core of the successful 2019 team returning full of excitement for the coming season. Along with the additions of Ben Zucco, Andrew Kyriakou and Matt Stojanovski, the playing group is looking well balanced and determined for a tilt at the title. Ben Zucco will be looking to impose his quality and skill in games. The opposition will undoubtedly try to prove a point that the Community League is not one to be taken lightly.

Who is the competition favourite?
Gerringong are the favourites along with Albion Park City FC and United Wolves. Our own team would be full of expectation to push Gerringong all the way.

A team to look out for?
The smokey for me is Coledale. A tough opposition full of enthusiasm and determination who never give up.

Comments from Port Kembla Pumas President Anthony Timillero

SOUTH COAST UNITED

2019 – 5th

How is your team shaping up?
The entire all age squad has turned over 30 players this off-season. It’s a whole new first grade side with only 4 players returning from last season.

Who is the competition favourite?
Gerringong Breakers followed by Port Kembla Pumas. Look out for Rhyley Foenander from Gerringong and the Zucco brothers (Ben & Ricky) to do some damage for the Pumas.

A team to look out for?
Albion Park City Football Club.

Comments from South Coast United President Ivo Spanicek.

UNI SPURS

2019 – 10th

How is your team shaping up?
We’ve put together a whole new squad and will be looking to shake up the competition in the first few rounds and cause some upsets. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve picked up a few experienced players and are hoping to come into the competition with a more rounded team.

Who is the competition favourite?
Gerringong in their second year will be strong contenders. The Breakers were strong last year but are still finding their feet so this year we’re expecting them to be challengers.

A team to look out for?
Dandaloo are always a team to watch out for. No matter what happens, Dandy are an experienced team that always comes together at finals. They’ve been one of the top teams for years.

Comments from Uni Spurs coach Hamish Campbell.

UNITED WOLVES AFC

2019 – 2nd

How is your team shaping up?
We’re in a rebuilding process but welcome back a few players from major injuries.

Who is the competition favourite?
Dandaloo.

A team to look out for?
Oak Flats.

Comments from United Wolves President Adam Potts.

VALE BANTER PUPS

2019 – 7th

How is your team shaping up?
Given the exceptional circumstances, there’s been a raft of new signings to fill a couple of holes. Our defensive stocks are a tad thin at present but our attacking weapons will more than compensate down the other end. Look for Bryce Dreghorn, fresh out of junior football to score a stupid number of goals this season.

Who is the competition favourite?
Gerringong will be motivated to reach the upper tiers of Football South Coast. They played an exceptional brand of football last year.

A team to look out for?
With two of the league’s weakest teams from last year being demoted or folding, it will be an incredibly competitive league this season. I genuinely think any team will be able to win on any given day. I expect sides like us, Albion Park City and Coledale to spring upsets aplenty.

Comments from Vale Banter Pups captain Lachlan Hennessy

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